How to Avoid Traffic Stress During Pandemic Recovery


As the number of vaccinated people continues to grow, so does the traffic.

Our traffic reporters have talked in recent weeks about traffic having started to get back to normal, or at least close to it. And if you’re out there driving to and from work again after the last year or more working from home all the time, you’ve probably seen it for yourself.

Well, a new study is out with a warning about another problem that may be back too. They call it “accelerousal.” Arousal is a term that psychologists use to describe stress.

They say accelarousal is what they call stress provoked by an acceleration of events…even small ones. The researchers studied a group of drivers and they say they discovered that about half of drivers showed “peaked stress” as they drove and experienced various traffic events from reckless drivers to red lights. The other drivers stayed calm.

Drivers who showed signs of stress were also much more exhausted than the others. As the lead person in the study put it, Drivers with accerousal have “all the characteristics of long-term stress, with all the health and other implications that this may entail.”

While there’s not a shot that can get that makes you immune to bad traffic, when it comes to the stress of dealing with it, maybe some of the things we’ve learned during the pandemic about what’s really important in life can help.

(Photo Getty Images)

Cliff Notes on the News 6-2-21