The problem is worst of all in “Stresstember” – the month identified by health professionals as being one of the most stressful – as people return to work and school.
As families return to the daily routine after a long summer holiday, a UK road safety education organisation has published advice on how to cope with “road pressure” and reduce the chance of having a collision.
The daily commute, traffic jams, being late for an appointment along with being exasperated at what we may consider to be bad driving by others all pile on the anxiety and make driver decisions rushed, said the TTC Group, which educates 330,000 road users each year to reduce road casualties.
Business drivers who think about their next meeting can also increase the risk of a deterioration in their driving standards, warned TTC Group director Alan Prosser.
“You have to leave work stress outside of the car once you shut the door and fasten the seat belt,” he said. “Give yourself some extra time to cope with the commute.
“Leave early to give yourself more time. Be the better driver, turn off that mobile phone, maintain a good distance away from the vehicles in front and work to give yourself a protective safety bubble to avoid hazards.
“Use safety and smoothness as your measuring stick and you will, over time, become safer and less stressed while driving,” he concluded.
The TTC Group runs courses for all road users nationwide to raise standards including TTC DriverProtect, a managed online psychometric risk assessment tool which includes information on how to cope with driver stress and measures driver attitudes to allow employers to provide appropriate training to upskill staff.
One in three UK drivers report feeling stressed behind the wheel, leaving them prone to make irrational decisions and suffer road rage.
“Stresstember” was identified by the Sleep Council as the start of the “stress calendar” with children back to school, summer holidays over, weather cooling and a long wait to Christmas for the next public holiday.