Travel – stress for some but not others

I have been travelling around this country and others for work for too many years for me to recall just now. I am usually very lucky with my transport compared to other people I work with. Certainly even getting stuck in Germany with the Ash cloud was comparatively easy going for me that trip here .

Today I was doing a journey that was 243 miles on google maps. 189 miles of this according to google would be on motorway, the first 35 was from my house to the motorway and the rest was inside the M25 and taking a total (according to google) of just over 4.5 hours for the whole journey.

I was inside the M25 within 4 hours but this journey took over 7 hours. This is a annoyance for me in some small way but got me thinking about several issues:

  • how lucky I am to live in the sticks – another post another time I think
  • how life in this part of the world puts undue stress on those who live here

It is true that a lot of people in our society get to their early twenties or so and wish to live in the bright lights and big city. Am I just too old and “past it” to care? – Probably, but the number of decisions being made on an ongoing basis as I negotiate the streets of London are perhaps more in number than our Grandparents made at our age in a week.

I am ruling out hearing etc. as we are in a steel box with music of radio or a story distracting us further. Therefore if we have millions of pieces of information coming in through our eyes every second, what processes of distortion, deletion and generalisation are at work? And do these processes work more efficiently for some than others? If so does that mean that some people are more predisposed to dealing with stress?

This would seem evident and we know how arousal states effect us. Most people have methods of coping with arousal change and stress. However these strategies can be difficult to complete when driving in a situation where finding a rest stop is difficult and can cost. Like a dessert with lots of people and shops but nowhere to stop. That might sound too dramatic – I am sure city folk laugh at that as I would when I was one.

And therefore are some people more able to focus rather than being distracted and some who are more easily distracted by the unimportant stuff like the radio?

Do we have a way to measure if this changes with age? Am I destined to be safer or less safe as a driver?

I have found that as you age you slow down and as yuou slow down you have more time to get distracted – is this a self fulfilling prophecy??

etc, etc

so many questions ……….