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A Beginner’s Guide To Managing The Stress Of Traffic


One of the most frequent sources of anger, stress and anxiety in today’s society is traffic congestion. While some people do not mind driving in a large number of cars, the case of a traffic jam can be highly stressful because no-one is heading anywhere quickly. Statistics have shown that rush-hour commuters in Australia will lose approximately 50 hours per year to traffic congestion. One may not consider this to be a problem, but the emotional and psychological effects traffic jams have can be highly detrimental to a person’s health. This article will provide information on how to manage stress caused by traffic at places like Richmond.

1. Protecting One’s Health

One of the best solutions to protecting your health is to steer clear of traffic congestion wherever possible. This can be challenging if the commute to school or work passes through a high-traffic location; however, one needs to be flexible regarding other routes or schedule different times. For example, you could avoid rush-hour traffic by leaving home earlier. It may also be possible to use a GPS service from your iPhone or such to re-route a commute through a less congested area.

2. Reducing One’s Stress

Once you have completed any re-routing or rescheduling to avoid traffic congestions, the next step is to face the traffic with greater equanimity. For people who cannot control the situation of a traffic jam, it is best to manage the reaction to the traffic. Below are some tips derived from research on how to reduce the stress of a traffic jam and help you remain calmer in this congestion.

• Redefining The Situation

Instead of viewing the traffic as an obstacle to overcome, try seeing it as a respite from an undesired task. For example, sitting in a traffic jam is an good opportunity to listen to music or have a few hours away from the office. By changing your perspective, you will be redefining the situation from a bad one to one where you can relax.

• Remove Anxious Thoughts

The majority of people will feel concern over the amount of time they are ‘wasting’ when sitting in a traffic jam. Instead of worrying about being late, approach the situation with a mindful attitude accepting it and realising you do not have control over the issue. Modify your awareness to what is happening in the present moment and do not think about the future.

• Start Smiling

When you are travelling at ten miles per hour in the fast lane, it is advised that you smile instead of scowling. If you can see the humour in the situation, you will feel less stress. In fact, evidence has found that even faking a smile can reduce the intensity of the body’s stress responses. The saying, ‘fake it ’til you make it’ does hold some bearing.

As can be seen, there are methods to dealing with traffic congestion. By using the information above, you can manage unwanted traffic jams with ease and fewer feelings of stress.

Tips for Safely Driving in Melbourne

In a city like Melbourne, you need to pay special attention to the traffic and pedestrian roads, because it will keep you safe from harm. Accidents can always happen, no matter where you live, and in a city like this, it’s even more essential to make sure that you drive your car with care in order to preserve your life, the life of your passengers and the life of other pedestrians.

As the state capital of Victoria, it’s one of the most beautiful cities and it is also considered an easy city to get about. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local driving your own car or if you’ve rented one from a car rental company as a tourist because the driving rules in traffic apply to everyone. Keep in mind that some of the rules apply almost everywhere, so let’s see some traffic tips that will help you drive safely.

Keep Your Limit

There’s a limit that you have to keep in the traffic of Melbourne, and it is 50km per hour unless the signposts say otherwise. This rule is for suburban areas, while on the rest of the motorways which are outside the cities, the limit rises to 100 km per hour. In some sections of the freeway, the limit is 110km per hour, so keep your eyes on the signposts. Overstepping the limits can get your license suspended and you won’t be able to drive anymore.

The Side of the Road

Unlike other European or US countries, in Australia, you drive on the left-hand side of the road. There are a dozen countries in the world where the traffic is on the left side on the road, and it’s said that these countries register a lower percentage of car accidents. However, pay attention to this if you’re new to the area and you’re a tourist or you’ve just moved here.

License, Seatbelt and Drinking

Having your driving license with you at all times is mandatory, and so is the wearing of seat belt for you and your passengers. This is the law ever since 1962, and it’s one of the reasons why there are fewer accidents in this area. Drivers and passengers will wear the seatbelt at all times, and you’ll have to use the child safety restraints and the special chairs for toddlers. It protects them better in the case of an accident and it increases their chance of survival, the same as the seatbelt does for adults.

Special Messages

Everyone knows that it’s not OK to drink and drive, but the police forces in Melbourne take their jobs seriously. They make random breath testing checks for alcohol, and the level should be below 0.05, and they also can test the blood. Even if you can have a drink, meaning a light alcohol cocktail, it’s better to avoid it in order to avoid being prosecuted. You never know when you reach past the admissible limit and the police can fine you and suspend your driving license. It’s not worth drinking and driving, not just for the sake of keeping your license, but also for your safety and the safety of other traffic participants.

Another message that you have to pay attention to is the “give way” sign that are displayed on the buses – the buses have priority when they signal that they leave the stop. It’s not like in other countries, and here you have to respect the signs, otherwise, the police can fine you.

Other Big Participants in Traffic

If you didn’t know, we’ll tell you – Melbourne has the biggest number of Trams of any city in Australia, and it’s something that you really can’t avoid. As the rules are made for both of you, the trams use the roads along with cars, and they always have the right of way. You can’t stop near the tram when the tram reaches the stop – you always need to stop behind the tram – this procedure will protect the pedestrians when crossing the street to the stop or the other way around. It helps avoid car accidents and other unwanted events.

The Hook Turn

The Hook Turn is located in the Central Business District in Melbourne and it’s actually a rule for turning right. This was set to allow Trams a clear passage past intersections and you’ll see it as an overhead sign at different intersections to indicate the hook turn. To understand better, imagine this: you want to travel forward (on the left lane, of course), so you wait on the far left part of the road. When the light turns orange and the right part is clear of oncoming traffic, you can take a wide turn to the right. It’s actually easy and if you’ve never done it, just follow the traffic as a pedestrian first and see how it’s done.

Note: The easiest place to get a driver license in Melbourne is at Vicroads at Sunshine.