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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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