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The Commuter Column: Passing Time While Driving

Kathleen Joyce

Most drivers can agree that there really isn’t much to do while you’re driving, since you’re supposed to pay attention to the road, which of course you should! But what about those times when you’re stuck in bumper- to- bumper traffic, with nowhere to go? Here we’ll discuss a few time- killing tips to keep you concentrating on the road, as well as having some fun.

The worst is always in the morning when you’re traveling to class, and the traffic starts, and the anxiety starts to fire up. Yes, you might be late to class, but calm down! Throw on your favorite tunes from your iPod, phone, CD, or just the plain radio. Sometimes listening to a good song can really calm the nerves; just don’t be that person who puts the music up so loud that ten other cars behind you can hear your soundtrack. According to, a large number of accidents are caused by those who play music so loud they can’t hear other noises around them such as emergency vehicles, and horns.

Another thing you can listen to while you’re bored in traffic, is a recorded book.. Celebrities are usually the voices on the tapes, which makes it a bit more bearable. I personally like to read, but if George Clooney is talking, I’m listening. These tapes can be found at your favorite bookstore or online, and even free at the library.

Another unique, but great tip is cleaning your car as you drive. Keep the car in gear of course, and use wipes such as Armor All wipes or Clorox wipes to wipe the dust off your dashboard, cup-holder, and leather seats. I love this tip and I’m crazy about my car, so the wipes are always kept in a compartment next to my cup-holder.

The obvious tip is to call a friend in the car, but only safely. Use your blue-tooth if you have it, since most new cars come equipped with it. Venting to a friend about the traffic makes things go by better. Just don’t wake them up in the morning, I usually call my mother since she’s the only person awake at that time. Thanks Mom!

And last but not least, “the falling asleep, I gotta get out of the car tip.” I made this one up, due to my getting restless after a long drive. Every time I drive to school, I always make one stop and that’s usually to get coffee or breakfast. I’ll stop by Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or 7/11 depending on my route. This way I can get a treat, and I get to take a small walk and stretch my legs. After my stop, I always feel so much better for driving. It’s like a small energy boost, without the caffeine.

So the next time you get in your car and drive for what seems like forever, use one of these tips. Sometimes a drive itself is relaxing because it’s the only time you have to yourself. So use this time wisely, and have fun with it. Send me your ideas at: because I’m always getting bored in my car.

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