Emotional Driving: Why You Should Avoid Driving When Stressed, Angry, Sad, And Even Excited

Road rage: it’s one of the most common emotions people have while driving. And while most people recognize that becoming enraged behind the wheel isn’t safe, what most don’t realize is how any strong emotion – not just anger – can be a danger to you when driving. The truth of the matter is that driving while stressed sad, angry, or even excited can impact your driving skills and create a dangerous situation on the road.

Read on for all you need to know about emotional driving, and how to avoid emotional driving to keep you, and everyone around you, safer.

How Do Emotions Affect Your Driving Ability?

Strong emotions, from happiness to sadness to anger, can impair your decision-making skills and cognition. They’re also distracting while driving. Stress, too, can cause some people to sleep poorly and become upset, and the feeling is often compounded when they’re on the road and have to get somewhere in a hurry.

When you drive with strong emotions, then you can easily become distracted. This can cause safety issues, such as:

  • Drifting onto the shoulder or into another lane
  • Failing to use mirrors in crowded places, such as a parking lot
  • Miss a stop sign or a red light
  • Hit another car or even a pedestrian
  • Speed in special zones such as construction or school zones

When your emotions are high, even the smallest incident on the road can trigger those emotions, making something as innocent as being behind a slow driver a much bigger issue in your mind – and potentially leading to unsafe actions on the road.

At the other end of the spectrum, being happy when you’re behind the wheel can also cause issues. If you’re in a euphoric or elevated state, you may be less careful in driving, not watching your speed closely, or not properly looking when completing a simple task such as checking your blind spot before changing lanes. Any type of distracting driving can have serious consequences – it doesn’t matter which end of the emotional spectrum you are on.

woman driving car in emotional state
Image by Paje Victoria on Unsplash: Wondering why you should avoid driving when stressed, and how can anger and stress impact your driving? The bottom line is that any type of emotional driving is dangerous.

Before You Drive

If you really want to make sure you’re driving as safely as possible, start thinking about your emotional state before you get behind the wheel. Give yourself a small time out to calm your emotions. If you’re feeling worked up, you should:

  • Take about 10 minutes to calm yourself down
  • Take a short walk and focus on your breathing before getting in the car
  • Talk to someone to help achieve a state of calm
  • Sit quietly and think about your mood, including what could happen if you got behind the wheel in an emotionally heightened state

If you’re in a rush to get somewhere, it’s even more important to take a few minutes to calm and center yourself before driving. It’s better to be late to something than it is to not get there at all because you’ve had an accident.

When You’re Behind The Wheel

If you’re driving, there are things you can do to even out your emotions. These tips can help you to stay calmer:

  • Create a comfortable environment. Make sure that the temperature inside your car isn’t too hot or too cold. If it’s not right, it can add to your emotional state.
  • Don’t tense up. Relax yourself behind the wheel. Make sure your muscles aren’t clenched and full of anxiety. Don’t grip the wheel too tightly or it can increase your feelings of tension.
  • Deal with frustration appropriately. When you find yourself become upset or frustrated behind the wheel, try turning on some relaxing music. This can be a good way to help keep yourself centered, but be sure to keep the volume low so you don’t trigger more anxiety.
  • Practice controlled breathing. Breathing exercises are a great way to relieve tension and help you to feel more relaxed behind the wheel.
happy drivers in car
Image by Sofia on Unsplash: How does excitement affect driving? In fact, much the same as any other heightened emotional state.

Driving and dealing with other people on the road can be frustrating, and if your emotions are already high, it can make the situation worse. The best thing you can do is recognize that you can easily become triggered by others and refuse to allow your emotions to take over in that moment.

If someone becomes agitated with you on the road, don’t let that pull you into negative emotions of your own. Behave courteously and calmly when dealing with other drivers no matter what, and your emotional state will serve you well in staying safe.

Featured image by mentatdgt on Pexels

20+ Items That Disabled Drivers Should Have Before Getting In Their Vehicle

As a disabled driver, you know that the unexpected can and often does occur; tires blow out, you get delayed or stuck in heavy traffic, you encounter bad weather, or you have an accident. Driving involves inescapable risks. So, in order to stay safe and to avoid any unfortunate situations while traveling by car, disabled drivers need to have some essential items with them at all times. It is crucial that every time you get into your vehicle you have things that will keep you safe and help you to handle some potentially sticky situations.

So, what documents should a disabled driver carry while driving? What are good things for a disabled driver to keep in their car? What should you keep in your glove box at all times? Let’s answer these crucial questions now.

What Are Good Things To Keep In Your Car?

Some items are good to keep in your car at all times, such as first aid equipment and vehicle emergency repairs equipment. Other items are essential to have while you travel but are best not kept in your vehicle at all times.

Examples of items that you should not keep in your car when you are not using it are:

  • Driver’s license. Your driver’s license is best stored in your wallet, which you should keep on your person instead of in your vehicle at all times.
  • Disabled parking permit. This can be used in any vehicle in which the holder is traveling, so a lot of permit holders like to keep their permits on their person instead of in their vehicle.
disabled drivers in vehicle
Image by Tobi on Pexels: What should you keep in your car at all times?

What Documents Should A Driver Carry While Driving?

The documents that all disabled drivers should carry while driving are:

  • Disabled parking permit
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance

What Should You Keep In Your Glove Box?

Your glove box is the perfect place to keep valuable and important items. The items that every disabled driver should keep in their glove box are:

  • Disabled parking placards (these should be stowed in the glove box while the car is moving)
  • COVID safety equipment such as face masks, hand sanitizer, napkins, and travel wipes
  • Medical information, including details of any medical conditions, medications and allergies for yourself and any people who regularly travel with you
  • Emergency contact numbers (in case your phone breaks or is inaccessible)
  • Proof of insurance
  • Pen and paper
  • Owner’s manual and maintenance schedule for your vehicle
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • High-energy snacks such as dried fruit and nuts

What Should Disabled Drivers Keep In Their Car At All Times?

Here are 20 items that disabled drivers should make sure they have before getting in their vehicle.

  • Disabled parking permit
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Pen and paper
  • Owner’s manual and maintenance schedule for your vehicle
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Any specific medications you use
  • First aid kit (bandages, antibiotic cream, anti-itch cream, anti-bacterial gel, pain reliever, allergy medication, antacids, eye wash, lip balm, tweezers)
  • Any mobility aids that you or your passengers require
  • High-energy snacks
  • Drinking water
  • Vehicle emergency repair kit (Spare tire, jack, tire gauge, tire inflator and sealer, lug key, vehicle manual, jumper cables, oil and funnel, water, screwdrivers, pliers, duct tape, WD 40, flares, visibility jacket)
  • COVID safety kit (face masks, hand sanitizer, face shield, travel wipes)
  • Wheelchair ramps and transfer boards if you are in a wheelchair
  • Medical information
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Sunglasses
  • Cash
  • Comfort kit (blankets, extra clothes, toilet paper, sunscreen, insect spray, contact lens holder solution, travel toothbrush, toothpaste and floss)
woman in truck
Image by pexels on Pixabay: What documents should a disabled driver carry while driving?

How Do You Get A Disabled Parking Permit?

The best way to get a disabled parking permit is to arrange a telemedicine consultation with a licensed doctor in your state through the Dr. Handicap online clinic.

At the online clinic, you will have a video chat with a licensed doctor in your state who will verify your medical condition and then complete and sign a DMV disabled parking application form, which they will email to you immediately. It is an efficient and simple process.

Featured image by Hannah Sutherland on Unsplash

What Is Defensive Driving And How Can It Help Disabled Drivers?

Safety should be the number one priority for all disabled drivers. The unfortunate truth is that when traveling by road, there is always a risk of getting into a crash. Injury or even death are always possibilities when we travel in a vehicle, particularly if that vehicle is driven in an unsafe manner. But if we practice sensible, defensive driving, we can improve our chances of staying safe on the roads.

Tragically, over 38,000 people die in accidents on American roads each year. It is important to be aware of this grim statistic. By remaining fully cognizant of the dangers we face when driving, we can take the necessary precautions to mitigate those dangers.

Many of the crashes, injuries, and deaths that happen each year on American roads could be avoided if more people practiced safe, defensive driving. Far too many road accidents are caused by human error, negligence, a lack of concentration, tiredness, or aggressive driving.

Unfortunately, there will probably always be dangerous drivers who pose a threat to themselves and others. The best thing responsible drivers can focus on is reducing their vulnerability by driving safely and practicing defensive driving. Today, we will discuss defensive driving and how it can help disabled drivers.

What Is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving is a type of driving intended as a defense against the dangerous actions of other road users and other hazards on the road such as bad weather. It is a driving style that is cautious and sensible, and that puts safety first.

Defensive driving involves a set of driving practices that are effective at defending the driver and their passengers from the dangers of road travel.

Dr Handicap - disabled drivers
Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay: How does defensive driving help disabled drivers?

Why Is Defensive Driving Important?

How can defensive driving benefit you and others, and why is it important? Simply, it is important because it keeps people safe. Road travel can be risky because other drivers often make mistakes and drive responsibly. Hazards such as bad weather and slippery surfaces can also make road travel dangerous. Defensive driving protects against these hazards.

What Are The Principles Of Defensive Driving?

So, how do you practice defensive driving? The main principles of defensive driving are:

  • Always sit high and alert behind the wheel, and keep your eyes on the road
  • Maintain full concentration
  • Minimize distractions
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles
  • Slow down at all intersections and junctions
  • Be aware of any blind spots
  • Make sure other drivers can see you
  • Always assume other drivers may make mistakes

What Are The Benefits Of Defensive Driving?

So, how can defensive driving help disabled drivers? There are a lot of benefits to defensive driving. The main benefits are that it:

  • Keeps you safe
  • Keeps other drivers and pedestrians safe
  • Reduces costs of vehicle repair and insurance
  • Makes you a good example to other road users
  • Lowers your stress levels

What Are Some Examples Of Defensive Driving?

Some examples of defensive driving include:

  • Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles
  • Driving at a sensible speed and not going above the legal speed limit
  • Maintaining full concentration
  • Constantly checking your mirrors to be aware of your surroundings
  • Avoiding distractions from other passengers, loud music, podcasts, etc.
driver wearing seatbelt in car
Image by freestocks-photos on Pixabay: Practicing defensive driving benefits all road-users.

How Can You Get a Disabled Parking Permit?

If you have a disability but you have not yet gotten a disabled parking permit, it is a simple and quick process. The best way to get a disabled parking permit is to arrange a telemedicine consultation with a medical practitioner in your state through the Dr Handicap online clinic.

During a video consultation (which can be undertaken from the comfort of your own home) the medical practitioner will verify your disability. The qualifying conditions for a disabled parking permit include:

  • An inability to walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest
  • Not being able to walk without aid from an assistive device
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Any condition that necessitates the use of portable oxygen
  • Legal blindness
  • An arthritic, orthopedic, or neurological condition that hampers mobility

Once your disability has been verified, the medical practitioner will fill in the relevant sections of a disabled parking permit application form and email it directly to you. All you need to do is fill in the remaining sections and submit it to your local disabled parking authorities.

Featured image by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

6 Good Driving Habits That Every Driver Should Develop

How can you stay safe on the road? To drive safely, it helps to develop good driving habits each time you get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get into bad habits while driving – but this can put the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other drivers at risk.

So what are good driving habits, exactly? Simply, these are actions, thoughts, or procedures that you follow each time you drive a car, with the aim of making your driving safe. It’s generally thought that new habits take about a month to form, so if you make an effort to practice good driving habits each day, they’ll soon become second nature.

Read on for six good driving habits that every driver should develop – plus a few that you should always avoid.

1. Focus on the Road

Wondering “How can I make my driving better?” Well, our most important driving tip is to always stay highly focused on the road. Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents, due to drivers paying attention to something else other than the road and what’s happening on it.

Always remain focused when behind the wheel. This means never texting or making calls while driving, listening to the radio at an appropriate volume, and keeping an eye on your mirrors and rear window, so you have a full picture of your surroundings.

If passengers, children, or pets are fussing or making noise in the car, pull over and handle the situation – but never try to calm your children or animals while still driving.

man sitting in car
Image by Fortune Vieyra on Unsplash: Checking your mirrors frequently is a good driving habit to pick up.

2. Check Your Mirrors

Your rearview and side mirrors are there to help you drive safely, so use them to your advantage. Whenever you get into the car, check your mirrors to see if their positioning is correct; they can easily get bumped, and you don’t want to have to adjust them while driving.

When you’re driving, especially when switching lanes, always check your mirrors first to make sure it’s safe. Keep in mind that all cars have a blind spot (an area you can’t see in your mirrors), so turn your head as well to make sure it’s absolutely safe before turning or merging.

3. Look After Your Car

Your car is a complex and expensive machine, so make sure it’s always running its best with regular serving and oil changes.

You might want to learn some driving basics to make things easier in an emergency. So what basic skills should all drivers have? To start, it can be helpful to know how to change a tire, how to set up flares, and how to call for help in an emergency. Otherwise, always make sure you have a roadside assistance membership so you can call for help at any time.

4. Take Frequent Breaks

Heading out on a long road trip? If so, remember to take frequent breaks. Driving when tired can lead to accidents, so stay fresh by stopping for a stretch and some fresh air every two hours or so.

Breaks can be a good opportunity to look at your map, work out where you’re going, and think about the parking situation at your destination. If you qualify for a disabled parking permit, make sure you always have it with you so it’s easy to access parking.

5. Use Your Turn Signals

It seems obvious, but many drivers neglect to use their turn signals. If you don’t use your signals before turning left or right or changing lanes, other drivers on the road don’t know what you’re planning.

This can be incredibly dangerous, so always get into the habit of indicating well before you plan to turn.

6. Slow Down

Speed can be a killer on the roads. Even if you’re running late, always drive the speed limit. If the roads are wet or visibility is poor, it’s a good idea to slow down even more.

Going the speed limit means you’ll not only avoid getting a ticket, but you’ll arrive safely at your destination.

man showing bad driving habits using phone while driving
Image by Alexandre Boucher on Unsplash: What are some bad driving habits? Texting and driving is one of the worst.

Bad Habits to Avoid

Now that you know how to drive safely, what are some bad driving habits to avoid? Firstly, to stay safe, never text or browse on your phone while driving – it can quickly cause a crash.

You’ll also want to avoid driving while angry. If you’re already feeling mad or upset, you’re not likely to concentrate on your driving, and you might even experience aggression known as road rage. Road rage can make it easy to do something you’ll regret, such as acting negatively towards another driver or making reckless choices behind the wheel.

When driving, always avoid using alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication that you know will make you tired or groggy. If you’re in a position where you’re no longer able to drive, call a cab or rideshare service, ask a friend for a ride, or wait a few hours until it’s safe to drive.

Are you ready to improve your driving? If so, make an effort to develop good driving habits, starting with the tips outlined above. They can help you become a more confident and responsible driver, keeping you and your passengers safe, happy, and secure while on the road.

Featured image by Jan Baborak on Unsplash

Driving And Cellphones: The Dangers And The Solutions

Driving and cellphones are a troublesome combination. Only twenty years ago, cellphones were extremely rare and comically cumbersome machines. But these days, if you do not have a cellphone, you are in a vanishingly rare minority. They’re everywhere, and most people spend a good chunk of their waking hours staring at their cellphone screen.

Cellphones have brought a lot of good to the world. They benefit people’s lives in many ways; today, most details of a person’s life are monitored and organized by their phone. But they do have their detractors. People say that cellphone usage has become so constant in the lives of most people that in-person social interactions have dried up and people have become more isolated and lonely. Cellphones becoming so ubiquitous has its pros and cons, but the value or harm that a person’s cellphone usage brings to their lives surely depends on how they use their phone.

One way that cellphone usage can cause enormous harm is if they use their phone while driving. Using a cellphone while driving can have disastrous, tragic consequences for the cellphone user and other road users that come into contact with them. Read on for all you need to know about driving and cellphones, and why they can be such a dangerous combination.

Dr Handicap - vehicle accident
Image by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay: What are the dangers of using a cellphone while driving?

What Are The Dangers Of Using A Cellphone While Driving?

Using a cellphone while driving disrupts a driver’s concentration and focus. The resulting distracted driving makes having a crash considerably more likely. Studies have shown that using a cellphone while driving increase the likelihood of getting into a crash by an enormous 400%!

On average, nine people are killed and 1,000 are injured on American roads every day due to distracted driving. A large amount of this distraction is caused by using a cellphone while behind the wheel.

What Are The Risks Of Using A Cellphone For Disabled Drivers?

Disabled drivers face all the same risks if they use a cellphone while driving. For some disabled drivers who have a lot of adaptive driving equipment installed in their vehicle that they need to operate and monitor, distraction from a cellphone may even be more problematic.

Can I Answer My Phone While Driving?

It is very dangerous to answer a handheld cellphone while driving. The vast majority of US states have banned handheld cellphone usage while driving. Texting while driving is also illegal in almost every state, and even in the tiny minority of states that have not yet made handheld cellphone usage while driving illegal, we strongly advise that you do not do it.

You can answer your phone while driving if it is connected to a hands-free device and you are over 18.

Solutions To Stop Cellphone Use While Driving

Here are some suggestions for avoiding cellphone use entirely while driving.

  • Use apps that detect when your vehicle is moving and prevent your phone from receiving calls and texts, such as AT&T DriveMode
  • Use settings that block your cellphone’s function while in the car
  • Set your phone to drive mode if it is available
  • Put your cellphone on silent mode
  • Put your cellphone out of reach while driving
  • Turn your cellphone off while driving
  • Use a separate GPS device so you don’t have to use your cellphone for navigation

Cellphone Safety Tips While Driving

Here are some suggestions for using a cellphone safely while driving.

  • Use a hands-free device
  • Only use hands-free when in situations where a conversation won’t cause a dangerous distraction
Disabled Parking - car conversion
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay: What are the solutions to stop cellphone use while driving?

How To Get A Disabled Parking Permit

Getting a disabled parking permit can bring huge improvements to a disabled driver’s quality of life. The qualifying conditions for a disabled permit vary slightly state by state, but the most common qualifying conditions are:

  • Not being able to walk 200 feet without needing to stop to rest
  • Any condition that impairs mobility to the extent that the use of a walking aid such as a wheelchair, brace, or cane is required.
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Legal blindness
  • An orthopedic, neurological, or arthritic condition that impairs mobility

The best way to apply for a permit is to arrange an online consultation with a medical professional through Dr. Handicap. Once your condition has been verified, your DMV application form will be filled out by the medical professional, and you’ll be on your way to accessing more convenient parking wherever you go.

Featured image by Pexels on Pixabay