Slow Down And Speed Up?

This week I had to attend a driving awareness course which is very topical to the moment as there is a great move, not least of all over they border in Wales, to reduce all 30 MPH limits to 20 MPH. There are a list of reasons for this reducing pollution and improving air quality to reducing accidents and saving lives. All of these reasons are supported by the evidence based research and the case is there for it to be a good idea.
Interestingly many people that I know are either from Wales or have to travel to Wales have shared their frustration with me about the cues of traffic that are now in the knew system.
On the course, that was attended exclusively by males, the reasons given for speeding were about being in a hurry. Each of us could justify our hurry or we believed that we could. For me I was taking belongings from my recently passed auntie’s house to charity shops and to the tip and fitting this around all the other things that had to do. I was doing 36 in a 30. Did I need to be? Really the answer is ‘No’. Yet we can all justify to ourselves why we need to rush everywhere but why?
Slowing down to speed up can seem paradoxical if your default behaviour is to rush everywhere as quickly as you can. But where did we learn that everything has to be done at speed? I remember being told that ‘time is money, so get a crack on’, but is it? Does it matter if I get to the supermarket five minutes later or to my my holiday cottage a few hour later? Why do we all need to be doing everything at speed?
Ed pointed out that when you slow down and take a bike to travel around you see more, smell more, appreciate more and interact with other people more. Where as in a car you are trapped in a metal box and missing most of what you are driving through.
Increasing your stress levels
Remember that driving too fast and feeling stressed will significantly impair your ability concentrate, observe and anticipate the decisions you need to make, and reduce your capability as a driver. If you are really stressed from what is going on in your life so that it affects you when you are driving it may mean that you need to take a break and to question whether or not you should be driving at all. You may need to take a few moments to meditate and just breathe to calm down and give yourself time to recover so that you are safe to drive.
Driving slower, moving slower, living slower and being more aware allows you to be is more efficient not just as a driver but in every aspect of your life. You should prioritise speed over quality in every thing that you do. Self-care is so important. When you are overwhelmed or exhausted you can become a liability to yourself and others. More importantly it might even save a life.
There is always a balance between getting things done and getting where you need to be and looking after your self. To create the right balance you may need readjust your attitudes and behaviours and take breaks as and when necessary. This will allow you to be as constantly and effectively as you can.
My resource for this week is the up to date edition of the Highway Code. It has changed a lot since I last looked at it and takes into account both pedestrians and cyclist.
So, if we all one need to travel a bit slower don’t fight it enjoy and arrive at your destination with a smile on your face.
Take care and drive safely
Sean x

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