A little over a year ago, I got into a moderate car accident while driving. Honestly, I was at fault — I was driving way too fast and made a poorly calculated overtake that caused me to get badly broadsided by a hugeeeee truck. In hindsight, I was extremely lucky that my car didn’t spin and flip off the road.

Today, I barely drive over 40 km/h on average, which is about half my previous speed.  It led me to thinking — is it just the accident that has me driving slower or does it also have to do with my positive emotional change inside?

Back when my life was chaotic — I was unhappy and overwhelmed. My mind was cluttered and noisy. I had very little focus with all that was going on inside. This was clearly, clearly, CLEARLY depicted in the way I drove. While my mind was scattering and busy shuffling through thoughts a mile a minute, so was my driving speed. I barely gave anyone a chance on the road and as the weight of the world grew on my shoulders, so did the weight of my foot on the gas pedal. I was a complete mess on the road, just as much as I was feeling a complete mess on the inside. Road rage – check!

I pretty much drive like a geriatric now — I cruise on my way to and from work, humbly giving way to a lot of drivers. Even though some inconsiderate drivers rarely warrant a “wtf”, I am generally a lot more peaceful and calm on the road. I learned to maintain my slow speed even when I am late, because as they say: “better late than never”, right?

Anyway, I’ve been noticing a direct correlation with the way I drive and the way I feel inside. On most days, I feel happy, peaceful, and content which causes me to be a generous and calm driver. On days where I feel a bit overwhelmed and flustered, I find myself driving a bit more aggressive and getting easily annoyed on the road. I guess it only makes sense — I mean, if you’re feeling drunk you’re going to drive drunk; perhaps the same applies for all other emotions.

Just recently, one of my fellow bloggers stated that he can sense the unhappiness in aggressive drivers. Based on my personal experience, I believe aggressive driving comes from having some sort of chaos inside, whether it stems from unhappiness or a lack of inner peace. I have grown more aware of the way I drive, and when I find myself driving aggressively, I draw my attention inward to see what I’m feeling at the time. Most times I find that I drive aggressively when something is bothering me or when I’m not emotionally balanced.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think? Do unhappy people drive more aggressively than happy people?

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Keep Smiling — Love, Candace

40 thoughts on “Why I Changed The Way I Drive”

  1. I totally identify with this! When my mind is cluttered I find it very hard to focus on the road. When I’m anxious, I get jumpy and think everyone is about to run into me. This is great!

  2. I think you’re right, Candace, that unhappiness, anger, stress, and even entitlement contribute to aggressive and unsafe driving. A lot of people aren’t self-aware enough to make that connection—noticing how their moods impact their behaviors. I agree that when I’m feeling happy and calm, I am a better and more relaxed driver, and perhaps more importantly, I am far less likely to be angered or triggered by the bad behavior of other drivers. I just feel sorry for them (though sometimes hope that a state trooper might be in the vicinity!).

    1. What a great contribution Donna. On my way to work this morning, a car flew past me — overtaking a line of about 5 cars — and yep, I actually felt some sort of empathy for the driver.

  3. I’m not certain I have always driven at the speed limit, but certainly after a wreck in my 30s, I became much more cautious and careful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and observations.

  4. Very invaluable source of information and I love the personal reference too. This is a great reflection of your once bad habits, I can relate to this a lot! Now following 🙌🏻

  5. Hmmm, I admit you have simmered down on the road a lot and I couldn’t be happier about that. Although from time time there’s the occasional bout of road rage, lol. Great post babe,love it!

  6. Well shared. The story telling style makes your blogs memorable, interesting and non threatening. Sadly about 100 million drivers need to contemplate why they drive like they do. It also makes wonder why otherwise responsible adults leave garbage on the ground or cigarette button that take 20 years to disintegrate. I wonder if densely I populated cultures like Japan are more thoughtful be a useful they share space and are taught respect.

    1. Thank you David. I must agree, the aggressive drivers far outweigh the calm ones — at least in most of the places I’ve been to. The same also goes for the littering and other “little” mindless actions that adds up over time. I have no idea about Japan and the more populated countries, but I pray that it’s not as bad.

    1. Awww.. thank you so much Flint. I’m honoured. I haven’t done any of these before, but I think I’ll take some time and complete it. Thanks so much again for reading my blog and for your kind words 🙂

  7. Great post! I can relate… got into a seriously stupid head-on collision as a result of “too much raw emotion” long ago in my 20s. Very embarrassing and thankfully no one got hurt! I consciously check in with myself when I get in the car nowadays…

  8. We would fully agree Candace that unhappy folks drive more aggressively. We log a lot of miles per year in our travels and talk with a lot of people and see and feel the anger on the roadways. When we encounter aggressive drivers we just pull over and let them move on. Its sad because they become even more aggressive because they get away with it.

    1. Hm… it’s really something, isn’t it?! You’re right–sometimes when I pull aside to let those kind of drivers pass, they speed off in an instant and then do the same to the next driver ahead of them, thinking they got away with it.

  9. When I am more aware of the universe around me, I am a better driver by far. It is impossible to be aware if I’m over-focused on ego-driven issues. So yes, being at peace makes me a better driver.

  10. It is great to drive slower as it is easier to stop and smell the flowers along the trip. Great blog post. Thanks for liking my blog post Affirmation, Gratitude and Forethought. I appreciate you! :~)

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