Key Factors to Maintaining Your Cool on the Road
Every day we get on the road, we join up with millions of truck drivers that are just doing their job. They’re moving goods from one city to the next, keeping our economies flowing, our store shelves stocked, and manufacturers producing. The US would effectively shut down without trucks on the road.
Any time you put these big rigs out there with other daily drivers, there’s bound to be accidents. Semi truck driving accidents are no joke, as the truck can weigh many times that of a vehicle. Combine the size of the truck, with the amount of traffic, and the stress of the commute, and things can go wrong quickly.
As your semi truck accident attorney in the Dallas area, Zach Herbert is here to make sure that you’re safe on the road. Let’s focus on what we can control: our attitude and stress levels.
How Stress Affects our Physical Bodies
We have all experienced stress at one point or another. Understanding the physical component of the stress can help us to discover better mechanisms to eliminate it before it becomes a bigger problem.
Often mistaken for, “I’m just tired” stress can be managed when it’s caught early and before the little issues become big issues. Common signs include:
- Joint or Muscle Pain
- Upset Stomach
- Trouble Sleeping
Recognizing the symptoms can help you to dive deeper and discover the true reason for the stress and to cut the problem out at the core.
Left unchecked, however, and the physical effects can translate into poor driving behaviors and may be the cause of an accident.
Head, body, or stomach pains are a distraction. As they get worse, they take much of our focus away from the things that really need it (like staying in your own lane and avoiding a crash with a semi truck). Have you ever doubled over in pain? At that point nothing mattered more than relieving the pain you were experiencing.
For the short while that you’re driving, you can train yourself to ignore physical pain or discomfort. But the mental affects are still present.
How Stress Affects our Mental Clarity
In the short-term, a little bit of stress is actually a good thing. It prevents us from becoming complacent, and allows us to make faster decisions that affect our well-being. It’s when we start to dwell on the stress where issues arise. It’s that mental fatigue that can take our minds off the road and get us into trouble.
Have you ever had an important decision to make, so you play over just about every possible scenario and outcome in your mind?
Driving on a busy highway means you have a lot to pay attention to. If your mind is wandering, and playing through hypothetical situations, it has less energy to focus on the semi truck that is merging toward you or coming up way too fast behind you.
When our minds are thinking of the stressor and the phone rings, we instantly think that call has to do with what is on our mind at the moment (half of the calls we get anymore are spam calls anyway). That quick distraction takes our mind even farther from the drive.
Avoiding a semi truck accident means maintaining focus. We can reduce stress and focus our energies where we need them.
How we can Reduce Stress (Especially While Driving)
So how can we do that? There are a few methods to reduce the stress in our lives, and focus on what really matters at the moment.
- Maintain an exercise regimen – Let’s face it, nearly every one of us could benefit from more exercise. The good news is that exercise produces endorphins, our body’s natural painkillers and sleep improvers.
- Set goals – When you don’t know what you’re working toward, how will you know when you’ve achieved it? Those goals reduce stress by giving your work focus.
- Create a to-do list – A lot of stress comes from, “Did I get done what I need to get done today?” Creating a to-do list can give an easy visual that shows, you, you did get done what you needed to get done today.
- Be where your feet are – Joshua Medcalf’s book “Chop Wood Carry Water” has a chapter about being where your feet are. There is no stress in the present. Stress is worry about what happened in the past, or worry about what will happen in the future. When you’re driving, be where your feet are and focus on the present.
Short-term stress lets us prepare for life. But long-term stress has been shown to lead to physical and mental health issues.
Zach Herbert Dallas Semi Truck Accident Attorney
When we think about car accidents and semi truck accidents, we tend to think in terms of what caused them. Immediately, we blame distracted driving or driving under the influence. But driving while stressed can be just as dangerous. Learning to cope with the stress, and eliminate the underlying cause can lead to safer driving and a happier life.
Of course, we can’t control the actions of those around us. If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, then you need to speak with the experts. Zach Herbert, semi truck accident attorney in Dallas, is ready to discuss your case. No obligation, just a chat to see what your options are.