As the school year wraps up, the month of May can get pretty hectic. Thinking about final exams, prom, and graduation season around the corner, you want to stay punctual behind the wheel so you can get to where you need to be on time!
The thought of tardiness can bring up a lot of anxiety behind the wheel, especially for new drivers. When running behind schedule, your sympathetic nervous system can go into flight or fight mode in an attempt to race against the clock. With adrenaline pumping through your body, you’re more likely to make rash, spontaneous decisions while driving. Unfortunately, these reckless decisions run the risk of breaking the law or causing an accident, all in an attempt to beat the clock by a couple of minutes. The bottom line? Whatever you’re in a hurry about isn’t worth risking the safety of you, others, and your vehicle.
If you’re someone who struggles to arrive on time, have no fear! Follow these five tips to always arrive on time and feel empowered by the freedom and responsibility that driving offers.
The best way to ensure that you always arrive on time is quite simple: plan ahead! A great rule of thumb is to allow yourself an extra 10-15 minute window to account for traffic, detours, parking, or taking a wrong turn. Leaving an extra 10-15 minutes in advance will also help ease your mind, knowing that there’s no rush. To get in the habit, take it a step further and set alarms to remind yourself when it’s time to leave. Pretty soon, leaving early will become second nature.
Fill Up on Fuel First
There’s nothing worse than running late, starting up your engine only to realize that you’re out of fuel. Avoid getting stuck on “E” by filling up your gas tank in advance, especially if you know you have to be somewhere important later that day or week. Typically, you shouldn’t let your fuel tank level drop below the ¼ mark. This will prevent you from the dangers of driving on “E” but also protects your fuel system.
Pack Your Things in Advance
When you know there’s an important event or priority coming up, save time by packing your things in advance. Whether it’s your backpack, an overnight bag, your lunch, or your sports gear, packing your things ahead of time will save you the stress of searching for your things last minute—or even turning around to grab something you forgot. In the instance that you have a commitment early in the morning, it’s best to pack your bag the night before, so you can just grab it and go come morning!
Map Your Route Before Driving
The road is an unpredictable place, and you can’t always prepare for when or where there will be construction, road closures, accidents, or inclement weather. Despite these obstacles, you can still plan to take the fastest route before getting behind the wheel with today’s technology. With the click of a button, mobile apps can show you multiple ways to get from point A to point B, and some apps will even show you different traffic patterns based on the time of day. Generally, you can predict bumper-to-bumper traffic on the main roads from 8-9 AM and 4-6 PM due to the folks that work 9 AM-5 PM.
Take a moment to look up the different recommended routes, and get familiar with the route you choose. This will prevent confusion once you’re behind the wheel, so you can stay present and focus on what’s ahead.
Although this is an obvious tip, don’t speed. Regardless of the circumstances, speeding is illegal and has the potential to harm yourself and others. If you’re thinking about speeding, take a moment and do the math. Speeding will only shave time off your ETA by a few minutes. In the end, speeding isn’t worth it.
At CIESC Driver Ed Safety, we work with students to develop effective driving habits and responsible behavioral patterns using foundational concepts. Follow us on social media to stay in the know about driving tips, or sign up for our online Driver Safety course.