Time management in driving

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Time management in driving

Some people are always late for work, school or appointments, no matter when they start out on their trips. Others know how to manage their time so that they can get where they need to go without making other people wait for them. For professional drivers and everyone else, good time management helps keep everyone on the road safe while making driving easier and more organized.

stop watch or calendar

Schedules are part of everyday life. People get up, eat, go to work or school and go to sleep at certain times, often with very little change from one day or one week to another. For busy people with many different activities and projects, time management is essential for keeping to this type of schedule. Taking too long on one activity could mean getting to the next activity late or possibly not making it there at all. For them, taking the time to follow a schedule is essential.

Principles and Techniques of Time Management

The same principle can apply to driving. Have you ever come home from some errands, only to find that you had to turn around and go out again? Good time management can help make those second trips unnecessary. As the Ontario Training Network notes, time management is really a matter of self-management, learning to organize the day around the most important and most necessary tasks, creating schedules that help to fit these activities in while giving time for the necessities of rest and taking care of daily needs.

Many of the general principles of time management can apply to driving. For example, the Ontario Training Network recommends making lists, setting goals and creating calendars. While these tactics may not be very useful for short trips to the grocery store or to work, they can be very useful for longer trips or ones with multiple stops. A trip that includes several stops for errands or a drive across the province, for example, could benefit from some of these time management strategies.

trucking electronic schedule

A preliminary step that drivers should take before making lists and setting goals is often to spend a few moments determining the issues and needs. Before deciding how to use the time more efficiently, it is helpful to analyze the situation and to find the problem areas. For example, a driver who fails to consider outside factors such as construction or icy conditions on the road might find it necessary to factor in extra time for getting places to prevent delays.

Avoiding certain times of the day or certain roads may make the drive easier and less stressful, while accomplishing the most important tasks first and leaving the others for later in the day can also help. Combining several tasks into one trip can help drivers manage their time more efficiently. For example, drivers can choose to visit stores on their way to or from work or school to avoid taking the car out a second time in the same day. They could buy something at the mall on the way to meet a friend or visit an elderly relative, or they could take an item in for repairs at the same time as they are going for a medical appointment or haircut.

Commercial Drivers and Time Management

Drivers of commercial vehicles know the value of good time management as they often have long distances to drive with fairly tight schedules. The CDL Jobs website recommends planning the route thoroughly to save time and reduce stress. Some areas, especially in cities, are likely to be busy at certain times of the day and can cause frustration and delays for drivers. Using GPS devices can help drivers find the best routes, but the information these computers give is often limited and may sometimes be inaccurate. Planning rest stops and making checklists can help drivers of commercial vehicles get to their destinations on time without unnecessary delays.

The same principles apply to other drivers. Going to school or work often involves driving through congested areas at busy times of the day. However, drivers can reduce this problem by leaving home a few minutes early and by checking the local news stations for information about accidents or other blockages on the road. That way, they will reduce unnecessary delays and avoid wasting fuel on idling in traffic jams.

Anticipating Traffic

Anticipating traffic is an important technique for fuel-efficient driving, according to the Natural Resources Canada website. When drivers anticipate traffic, they can more easily maintain a steady speed, thus helping to minimize their fuel costs. They can lower their costs even more by choosing roads that allow them to drive at the more fuel-efficient 50-80 kilometres per hour instead of travelling along higher-speed roads. Drivers can save up to about 20% on fuel costs if they follow some of these techniques.

Part of anticipating traffic is knowing the roads. In many cities, for example, traffic lights are coordinated with rush hour to help vehicles move smoothly and quickly along major streets. While drivers on intersecting roads may have to stop frequently for red lights, people travelling on the main streets are often able to move smoothy with fewer stops.

Choosing to drive on these main streets whenever possible can help drivers reduce the amount of time they spend on the road and get them to their destinations faster. However, traffic congestion is another consideration. Although major routes often have traffic lights coordinated for smoother flow of cars, trucks, buses and vans, they can be more crowded than other routes and end up being slower even than a route with frequent stops for red lights.

Paying attention to individual characteristics of drivers is also important. While some drivers are able to operate their vehicles safely in all but the worst weather, for example, others might manage their time better by waiting until a storm clears before venturing out. Planning for contingencies is important for good time management on the road. Whether people drive for a living or for their own convenience, learning good time management can help to make it easier and safer for new or experienced drivers to operate a vehicle in Canada.