6 Ways Driving Can Affect Your Mental Health

Driving gives you a lot of freedom. When you own a car, and you’ve got a driver’s license, you can get on the road and drive to any destination you want, whenever you want. You don’t need to rely on public transport or family and friends to take you places.

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

That all sounds great, however driving a car isn’t without its disadvantages. Some people don’t realize that driving can negatively impact their mental health in several different ways. Take a look at the following examples; some of them might apply to you:

1. Other People’s Bad Driving

It should come as no surprise that the top reason for many people experiencing a negative impact on their mental health from driving is other people’s bad driving. A momentary lapse in concentration, for example, is enough to cause a multi-vehicle collision.

Both new and seasoned drivers will find it stressful to drive at times because they have to keep perceiving the actions of other road users. As a result, that can also make those anxious drivers feel exhausted by the end of their journeys.

2. Car Accidents

Let’s face it: getting involved in a car accident is never a pleasant experience for everyone involved. While many collisions are minor and don’t cause lasting effects, some car accidents can be pretty severe and potentially life-changing.

For some people, getting involved in a car accident means using a car accident lawyer to claim compensation for vehicle damage and medical bills, taking time off work, and even mentally preparing themselves for driving again. Car accidents can be very stress-inducing.

3. Range Anxiety

It’s no secret the future of driving will involve having a car or truck that doesn’t contain a gas or diesel engine and instead contains batteries and electric motors. There are many EVs (electric vehicles) on the market these days already.

The problem is, most vehicles don’t offer long ranges like what you might expect from gas and diesel engines. At present, only car brands like Tesla offer long ranges from their EVs – but at a price.

Range anxiety can severely impact people’s mental health because they fear “breaking down” far away from home or a familiar destination. Still, as technology develops, the fear of range anxiety should decrease soon.

4. Unfamiliar Vehicles

If you buy a new car or you have a job that involves driving different vehicles each, it can take some time to familiarize yourself with “new” cars. For example, you’ll have to spend time learning the controls and dealing with different ways to change gears.

Driving unfamiliar vehicles can add varying levels of stress and anxiety to a person, depending on their past driving experiences. It can be easy to advise people with such stresses to avoid driving unfamiliar cars and trucks. However, it’s often unavoidable for them.

5. Unfamiliar Locations

When you drive your car or truck in your local area, you will understand and quickly memorize the roads and potential hazard zones. You’ll also familiarize yourself with various shortcuts to avoid traffic, for instance.

Unfortunately, many road users can find traveling to unfamiliar destinations very stressful and anxiety-inducing. They will also feel pressured to avoid taking wrong turns by always studying their GPS, and they’ll find it hard to “tune out” passengers talking in their vehicles.

As you can appreciate, people that experience such stress and anxiety should avoid jobs where their work often takes them to unfamiliar locations. Otherwise, they could do their mental health more harm than good.

6. Unfamiliar Passengers

Getting a job as a cab or Uber driver might seem like an excellent way to make extra money on the side of a day job. It may even seem like a suitable career option for people looking for a flexible way to earn a living, especially if those individuals enjoy driving.

The sad truth is some people new to driving cabs might end up feeling anxious about ferrying around strangers in their vehicles. As you can appreciate, there can sometimes be a significant health and safety risk of picking up passengers you’ve never met before.

Attacks on cab and Uber drivers are rare, but they do happen. If you’re someone that feels anxious about putting yourself in a potentially unsafe situation like that, it can make sense to look for an alternative option, such as fast food delivery.

Final Thoughts

Driving can be an enjoyable pastime. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that some people can get negatively impacted by their experiences.

This is a collaborative post.


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