Highly populated cities with winding highways get crowded with holiday shoppers, vacationing families, and inexperienced drivers. This is true across the World. Baton Rouge is no exception. It is easy to get rattled and impatient whether you’re traveling during these times for work or pleasure.
Some drivers are more easily irritated, aggressive drivers regardless of the normal traffic flow. But everyone can do these few things to help reduce the tension and stress of driving on the seemingly, never-ending highway to your destination:
1. Vehicle Maintenance: Be sure that your vehicle doesn’t require an oil change, brake work, or any other preventative maintenance one week prior to traveling. Fill up on fuel and check all fluids the night before departure.
2. Make A Schedule: Everyone needs to know what time you plan to depart. Give yourself plenty of time to make it to your destination. Check traffic reports before leaving and be aware of any road construction. You may want to add some extra time for traffic.
3. Load Vehicle: Anything that can be packed into the car ahead of time, should be loaded the night before. Make a list of everything that needs to be loaded the morning of departure.
4. Wake Up Early: Give everyone enough time to get ready and get out the door on schedule. Give everyone enough time for breakfast, getting dressed and any other daily tasks. No one should feel rushed – be sure everyone gets a bathroom break before loading up.
5. Road Music: Make a playlist of songs that are fun for everyone in the vehicle. If you’ll be traveling a long distance, several playlists may need to be made. If there are too many people with too many differing musical tastes, use headsets for passengers. Driver gets dibs on stereo!
6. Games, Toys & Snacks: If you have young kids in the vehicle, make each one a special bag of snacks and small games or toys. Make these using large Ziploc bags and be sure to label each bag with child’s name. Be sure that toys, games and snacks are age-appropriate and safe.
7. Drive Safely: Follow all posted speed limits. Don’t text and drive. Watch for aggressive drivers and give them room to pass. Be patient with other drivers who may be comfortable going slower than the speed limit.
If you feel aggravated or stressed, take a deep breath. Pull over to a safe spot or stop at a convenience store and stretch your legs a bit. Remember that getting there late is better than getting in an accident! If you’re in the driver’s seat, your family is depending upon you to keep them safe and calm.