How to avoid stress while driving

How to avoid stress while driving

What effects can stress have on drivers? Many users ask us this question because stress causes the driver to start gesticulating and swearing and can escalate to dangerous manoeuvres or serious threats. Read on to find out how to avoid stress while driving!

Stress can significantly increase the risk of dangerous incidents while driving. That’s why keeping calm on the road is crucial for everyone’s safety and well-being. From the car hire agency in Malaga, Miami Car Hire, we suggest some useful tips to achieve this.

What effects can stress have on the driver?

Stress has numerous negative effects on the driver as impatience and haste in traffic jams generate anxiety, leading to hasty decisions and increasing the risk of errors. It can also lead to fatigued driving due to stress, which is very dangerous as it affects concentration and reaction times, increasing the likelihood of accidents. In addition, extreme temperature inside the vehicle causes discomfort and stress, so it is essential to maintain a comfortable environment for safe driving.

What are the negative effects of stress on driving? There are several: stress makes the driver aggressive, increases the risk of errors, reduces attention span and reduces reflexes. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Increased aggressiveness: Stress increases irritability and aggressiveness, which can lead to dangerous behaviour such as sudden lane changes, risky overtaking and speeding. It can also lead to overreactions and confrontations in case of accidents.
  • Increased risk of errors: Under stress, the ability to make quick and accurate decisions is impaired, increasing the likelihood of recklessness such as failing to obey traffic signs or to keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • Decreased attention span: Stress can cause the driver to lose focus on the road, encouraging distraction and reducing the ability to respond to dangerous situations.
  • Reduced reflexes: Stress decreases the ability and speed of reaction, reducing the ability to avoid accidents and increasing exposure to risks on the road.

Types of driving stress

Driving stress can have five main causes:

  • Road conditions: High levels of traffic, poor road conditions and lack of road signs can cause stress in drivers.
  • Life habit: People who experience stress at work, at home or in their personal relationships tend to discharge that stress while driving.
  • Learning to drive: Novice drivers may experience significant stress while learning to drive.
  • Having suffered or witnessed a traffic accident: These traumatic experiences can generate considerable stress when driving again.
  • Amaxophobia (fear of driving): This phobia is a pathology that causes an intense fear of driving. If you suffer from amaxophobia, at the CEA Foundation we offer free subsidised courses to help you gradually deal with this fear.

How to avoid stress while driving

In general, a stressed driver is a danger to road safety. Stress causes a situation of uncontrolled driving which can hinder and annul a person’s driving abilities, causing symptoms such as tachycardia, sweating, respiratory problems, dizziness and even vision problems. After fear, stress is the second most common emotion experienced by Spaniards when driving. From Miami Car Hire we leave you with some tips if you ever feel the bad effects of stress.


  • Enjoy driving: Stay calm and avoid conflict situations. Alternatives such as walking, cycling or public transport can reduce stress. Carpooling with friends or colleagues can also make the journey more enjoyable.
  • Avoid rush hour: Slow-moving traffic and rushing creates frustration. Drive outside rush hour and check alternative routes to save time and reduce stress. Plan your journey and check real-time traffic apps.
  • Stay alert: Being alert improves your ability to react to unforeseen events. Keep a safe distance and avoid distractions such as using your mobile phone. Practising defensive driving helps you anticipate and avoid hazards.
  • Avoid confrontation: If you encounter an aggressive driver, avoid them. Stay calm and don’t get carried away by negative emotions. Courtesy and respect are essential to keep the peace on the road.
  • Listen to soothing music: A playlist of soothing music can calm you down during stressful moments. Music has a powerful effect on emotions and can transform your driving experience.
  • Practice kindness: Being courteous and helpful to other drivers improves your driving experience. Smile and apologise if you make a mistake, and yield when necessary. Kindness is contagious and improves the driving experience for everyone.
  • Keep the vehicle in good condition: Make sure your car is in good condition, with regular maintenance. A well-maintained vehicle is less prone to unexpected breakdowns that cause stress.
  • Drive defensively: Be prepared for the unexpected and anticipate the movements of other drivers. Maintain a cautious attitude and avoid assuming that others will act predictably.
  • Take regular breaks: On long trips, take breaks every two hours to avoid fatigue. These breaks help you stay alert and focused.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help you reduce stress and maintain concentration. Spend a few minutes before you start your journey practising these techniques.

Conclusion about driving stress

Staying calm on the road is essential for the safety and well-being of all drivers and pedestrians. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce stress and improve your driving experience. Remember that patience, courtesy and mindfulness are your best allies behind the wheel. Driving safely and calmly not only protects your life, but also the lives of others. Promoting an environment of respect and consideration on the road can make the driving experience more enjoyable for everyone.

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