Improve your drive to work
Research – and a degree of common knowledge – says that most of us just don’t enjoy driving to work. But a tyre manufacturer has a theory that might help shorten those daily drives and make them a bit more enjoyable. hits the road
CMatt Kimberley an you shorten your commute without actually shortening it? Now there’s a riddle many of us would like the answer to. We can’t click our fingers and turn a five-mile traffic jam into a serene, empty, driver’s paradise. Nor have we invented teleportation just yet, so the daily commute is a fact of life.
But did you know that people who commute by car are actually less bothered by it than those who use public transport? So says research among 2,000 drivers carried out on behalf of Continental Tyres, which found that car commuters are 36% more likely than not to find the journey to work a pleasure.
The same old congested route in the same old drizzle gets a bit boring, though, even to the most ardent car enthusiast, and the regular daily grind can start to seem longer and longer. The German tyre maker has launched a campaign designed to help people enjoy their driving more often and to make it happen the boffins have brought in a psychologist.
With the doctor’s help a series of simple tips have been devised, with the aim of helping drivers like you and me to feel like we’re spending less time on the road – and possibly even enjoying it a bit more.
I tried them out, and first on the list is to leave 10 minutes earlier than you normally would.
There’s no arguing with the logic. Psychologically it seems like you’ve got to your destination faster because the clock hasn’t wound its way on so far when you arrive. Second is having a good stretch before you get into the car – and when you get out at the other end. Stretching feels awesome and your body instantly feels better. Why would you not take the chance to stretch?
Both of these starter tips work, I promise.
Third is setting the correct temperature. Easy if you’ve got climate control; harder if you’re on manual air conditioning.
Next, turn the radio on at a low-ish volume, turn it off for 10 minutes mid-way through your journey and then put it back on again. This one is especially effective on faster roads where the miles flow by all the faster.
The next two are more or less duds. Continental’s list recommends opening your window a little if the weather permits and chewing some gum. Sugar-free, if you know what’s good for you. I can’t say either of these made any difference to the length of time it felt like the journey took.
Finally, be courteous. You can’t have a good journey if you’re raging about people pushing, uninvited, into the line ahead of you.
Whatever happens on your drive, let it go as quickly as you can and focus on what’s ahead – both literally and figuratively. It won’t do you any good to stew over things. This one I had trouble with, but I’m getting there.