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4 Safe Driving Tips For This Holiday Season

4 Safe Driving Tips For This Holiday Season

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is warning drivers of potential road dangers this Thanksgiving holiday, as more than 1.2 million residents are set to travel 50 miles or more.

“AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts that 1.2 million area residents will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday. That’s a 6 percent increase over the number who left the area last year and the largest amount since 2007,” The Washington Times reported.

As experts warn, a significant of those people who will be commuting through an automobile will likely be teenagers, which is why the concern is at its highest this year. Earlier this month, the media also reported on another research study by AAA, confirming that teen driving deaths have hit an all-time high.

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Researchers have pointed out that teen drivers are three times more likely than adult drivers to be involved in a fatal crash, according to the study. So yes, young drivers are among the most dangerous on the road. But that’s not to say there’s no hope for improving your chances of getting into an accident.

While it may not always be your fault, here are fiour tips you can follow to help prevent a collision – and even possibly fatalities – during the holidays.

1. Eye Balls On The Road

When it comes to teenage drivers, one of the principal factors of a horrific accident is the mobile phone. As technology has improved, so has our dependence on these devices. Utilizing the GPS can take your eyes off the road for a few seconds, but that’s all it takes for a fatal accident to occur.

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If you don’t have one already, investing $11 in a magnetic phone mount – like this one, for example – can not only save your life but probably prevent you from totaling your precious car.

2. Hands Off The Booze!

In the United States, about 30 percent of fatalities involving car accidents, are caused by impaired drivers under the influence of alcohol. In 2008 alone, there were more than 11,000 deaths because of drunk drivers. All these senseless tragedies could’ve been avoided in the first place if, to begin with, none of the perpetrators had their car keys.

Even at low levels, alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that can slow down reaction time, sparking foolish choices that may lead to a life or death scenario.

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3. Hide All The Car Keys

Despite what’s written in this piece, irresponsible binge drinking is going to occur anyhow. So here’s how to make sure everyone is safe: Have the responsible individual who will not be consuming alcohol take all the car keys and hide it from sight before the binge drinking starts. This way, responsible person in charge will be able to keep track of who is leaving and their mental state.

Do you have a friend or relative that is unfit to drive and has no way home? Call Uber. However, if for some reason —and I highly oppose to this decision — you had a couple of drinks, have no ride home, and might be in danger, try the following tips from the instructors at Texas Drivers Ed.

“One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to keep your eyes scanning the road ahead of you. Watch how traffic is moving – this boosts your reaction time and helps you prepare in case the car in front of you swerves or makes a sudden stop.”

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4. Prevent Your Teen From Driving

This one is for all the parents who have teenage kids: It’s easier said than done. Giving strong advice to teenagers will likely enter one ear and travel out through the other. It’s important to prevent your teen from driving out of your sight during the holidays. The line, “Young drivers, are among the most dangerous on the road,” should speak volumes. Additionally, peer pressure also plays a factor in your teen ignoring the advice you gave a few hours ago.

Bottom line: Understand that every single decision you make in life has consequences, whether they are good or bad. As a person who lost friends and relatives to drunk drivers, I always stand by one quote: “Make it a night to remember – not a night to forget.”

Featured photo credit: Joe Bielawa via flickr.com

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Jose Florez

Mental Health Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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