Distractions like calls, texts, e-mails, navigation, radio, food, passengers and traffic make being present while driving more difficult than ever.
In fact, Arizona traffic-related deaths jumped 15 percent in 2015, and one in every four accidents involves a smartphone, according to a press release.
That’s why Allstate Insurance and CorePower Yoga teamed up to launch the Be Present mindful driving campaign. The campaign launches on Aug. 30 with a free 7 p.m. yoga class at Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main Street in Scottsdale, to encourage drivers to focus behind the wheel.
“We drive an average of more than 13,000 miles per year. How many of those miles are we thinking about or doing something else?” said Rebecca Niessink, local Allstate agency owner, in the release.
“It can be tough to stay focused on the task at hand, and the principles of yoga can help us become more mindful drivers.”
Attendees will learn how to weave the wisdom of yoga into their drive and receive giveaways, such as a “Be Present” window cling to display in their car and a yoga mat with “Be Present” emblazoned on the top (while supplies last).
Allstate and CorePower Yoga recommend registering as soon as possible to secure a spot: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/be-present-yoga-at-hotel-valley-ho-tickets-27012271431
There are practical yoga principles that all drivers can use to improve focus and safety and reduce distractions. Weave the wisdom of yoga into your drive with these tips:
- Set an intention: Take a deep breath and create an intention for your drive, such as having a safe ride and peaceful interactions with your fellow motorists.
- Practice mindful driving: Feel the wheel in your hands, the air conditioning, the roadway around you, the sound of the engine and the traffic ahead of you. This is mindful driving—full awareness of what you are doing in that moment. Just
- Eliminate distractions: Driving distractions are everywhere. Music, phone calls, emails, texts, eating, advertisements, pedestrians—all of these pull us away from the task at hand—operating a vehicle. Multitasking while driving can be incredibly dangerous and causes countless crashes each year. Stay present to help ensure you arrive safely at your destination.
- Breathe: Deep breathing helps to keep your awareness grounded in the present moment and mitigate the effects of potential stress in traffic.
- Drive with compassion: Have you ever felt gratitude when another driver allows you to go in front of them, or received a “thank you” wave when you allowed someone to pass you? Embody that compassion to help avoid road rage or potential conflict.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.