Commuting is a local-level phenomenon that is worth discussing, mostly because of the impact that it has on our daily lives.
From having a small-sized car for solo driving to commuting by train, you have a set of choices to pick from as long as you get to work on time.
In the United States, over 76% of Americans drive to work on a daily basis, whereas a 9% opt for carpooling, suggesting that automobiles are still the most popular form of transportation.
But, is driving to work really better than taking public transportation or even biking? Is it less expensive, safer, and more convenient?
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Here we highlight 8 reasons why you should (and shouldn’t) drive to work.
Why you should drive to work
It can be relaxing
Getting up early in the morning usually comes along with certain tasks that can drive you crazy, especially when you are not a morning person.
Some of these tasks include: make breakfast, take the dog for a quick morning walk, drop the kids at school and so on. Any of those activities can take a toll on you until you get into your car and drive to work.
Driving to work can be your easy escape. The perfect opportunity to clear your mind from early tasks, organize your ideas, and be mentally prepared to start your day.
You are not subject to a tight schedule
Having a vehicle makes your trip more organized, even when you leave for work few minutes late, your commute wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Yet, people who rely on public transport cannot afford missing a train or bus as they all follow a strict schedule that applies to everyone.
Public transport also stops running at night in some particular areas which can impact your commute depending on how late you work. On the other hand, if you drive to work, you can hit the road upon your own discretion.
Driving to work is a quick, traditional form of commuting that gets you from point A to point B without making any stop unless you are facing severe traffic congestion.
You can plan your route without having to go through delays that are unrelated to traffic jams.
However, if you take public transport, you may be facing delays owing to the numerous stops and planned routes that these vehicles follow by rule.
You could also be delayed by service disruptions or closures in your area which makes your morning commute way more frustrating.
You can honor your personal space
Morning rush hours can be a nightmare, mostly for people who rely on public transportation to commute to work.
In this situation, passengers often have to allow other people to intrude their personal space, which is common in densely populated cities.
It could also be possible that someone you are sharing the wagon with has terrible hygiene habits which makes things even worse.
By contrast, once you get in your car, you’ll be safe from intruders getting too close and coughing in your face.
Why you shouldn’t drive to work
It can be hard to find a parking spot
Unless you work in a company where they provide a huge parking space for all their employees, you may have a hard time trying to find a decent parking spot in today’s highly congested cities.
This disadvantage mostly applies to urbanites who need to drive in circles to find a parking spot that is safe and affordable (provided that your employer does not provide any parking).
Though you could always check for parking apps in your smartphone, and verify where it makes more sense to find a reasonably affordable parking.
There’s way too much traffic
Traffic is a word that causes stress in many people who must drive long distances to get to work on time. Nobody wants to be part of it because of the chaos that it entails.
In Florida, for example, commuters try to leave for work early to avoid rush hour traffic on I-95.
However, you can always use your phone to map your route and find alternative roads to handle traffic jams at any given hour.
Driving to work is bad for your health
Typically, drivers experience a roller-coaster of emotions when driving during rush hour, which gets even worse when traffic builds up owing to the mistakes of other drivers.
As a matter of fact, it has been scientifically proven that driving to work is a really stressful activity that leads to higher blood pressure and accelerated heart rate.
A stressful driving situation can also affect your work productivity and personal relationships if you don’t find any other way to reduce your anxiety.
It is expensive to drive to work
When it comes to vehicle ownership, you need to factor in costs that some people fail to include when calculating their budget.
From auto insurance rates to operating costs such as fuel, some commuters have no other choice than using a public transportation or even walk to stay on budget.
In addition, owning a car also includes vehicle registration and registration renewals fees that are mandatory in the United States.