September 10, 2019

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We have all been there at one time or another. Driving after a long, stressful day at work, the traffic is congested, you have to be home in 15 minutes to get the kids off to karate class. Someone in front of you decides to cut you off – causing you to nearly collide. You feel it inside you, the intense, growing anger that is associated with road rage. Your face turns red, you grip the steering wheel angrily until your knuckles turn white and you may or may not throw a swear word or two out to the universe.

While road rage is commonly experienced at differing levels, some have a tendency to take it too far. Let’s face it, experiencing road rage at any level is a negative experience for the driver and the person that angered you. Road rage is extremely dangerous and needs to be calmed. In fact, it is proven to be one of the most dangerous driver behaviours because driving when angry makes you 10 times more likely to crash.

This is why I have partnered with Onlia, a new digital auto insurance provider, on a unique experience called the Calmedy Commute. Together, we want to make our roads a safer place for all drivers and passengers, testing the impact of comedy on road rage and how it may augment behaviour to make us better drivers.

Through this experience, I hope to get a better idea of how anger can impact my driving as a whole. The goal for me is to find solutions to get ahead of any potential road rage situations I may find myself in.

You see, when you are laughing it is nearly impossible to stay angry. If you have a long, stressful drive ahead of you, it is a good idea to get ahead of any road rage you might experience by listening to something that makes you laugh.

Take a Laughter Brake

I had the chance to try this experiment during my long commute. Onlia put together a series of calmedyroutines or laughter brake comedy segments using local talent from Toronto’s up and coming comedy community. These routines are designed to keep you laughing throughout your commute, eliminating any anger you may experience.

For the first five days, I commuted in and around the city while I listened to hour-long comedy segments. These segments played while I drove, giving me the chance to test them out to see if the comedy calms my nerves and helps me be a better driver.

The best part? Each day I drove, I was recording my commute via video. This means Onlia captured a no holds barred look at my natural reactions to the road and driving. Once completed, this video was sent in for facial recognition analysis that monitors the following emotions:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Surprise
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • and Neutral

I wore a wristband used to capture biometric data that monitor heart rate, body temperature and activity. This is awesome because it was an added layer that showed how my body responded to the situation around me when driving. The Onlia Sense mobile app also measured how safely I was driving.

Below you can find an awesome video that showcases my experience!

Who is Onlia?

Onlia is not your typical auto insurance provider. Onlia offers several digital safety products including on-demand roadside assistance, auto insurance, and a safe driving app that assists drivers on their commute – helping them to stay safer while on the road and rewarding them along the way.

Simply put, Onlia is a company with a strong focus on delivering innovative solutions for Canadians, working towards the goal of  making Canada’s roads safer.

About The Onlia Sense™ app

The Onlia Sense app is a safe driving app that is designed to facilitate safe behavioural changes and is available free to all Canadians. It serves to reward good drivers, making our highways, roads and streets much safer. This app helps by analyzing and scoring your driving habits based on several factors like acceleration, speed, braking and more. This data can help you to alter your driving techniques to include better habits. In fact, after each trip you take you will see the areas you can improve upon and shows you any instances where you may have been distracted.

The best part? When you achieve a high score, you can earn perks and unlock badges for completing safe driving challenges. Those who complete these challenges on the Onlia Sense app earn vouchers for things like Starbucks digital gift cards, and soon, Onlia will be adding even more to their perks list!

Check out the below safe driving tips to ensure your odds of earning perks and making the road a safer place.

Download the App Today! 

Safe Driving Tips

In combination with Onlia, these safe driving tips can help to make our roads a safer place.

Make sure your vehicle is ready for the road – Always perform regular maintenance such as filling windshield washer fluid, getting oil changes and checking your battery and tire pressure before setting off on the road. Routine tune-ups are incredibly important when it comes to road safety.

Plan your route – Making sure to program your destination into a GPS system before you leave is important. Planning out your route, especially in remote areas can help to reduce safety concerns while driving. Remember though, sometimes GPS systems can fail so always have a map with you.

Don’t get distracted – Always leave your mobile devices safely stowed away while driving, do not eat on the go and make sure your hands are on the wheel at 9 & 3.

Sleep properly before long drives – Driving can cause you to feel fatigued, especially during the night. This combined with decreased visibility can make it more difficult to respond properly to immediate situations. Always make sure to get a good night’s rest and take breaks from driving when you are feeling tired.

Have a first aid and emergency kit – Prepare for unexpected incidents by keeping some of these important items with you at all times in your vehicle:

  • Cellphone charger and charged cell phone
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Candles/matches
  • Non-perishable snacks like granola bars
  • Water
  • Blankets
  • Tools to change a tire

Pack your vehicle properly – Don’t allow baggage or other supplies to obscure your vision when driving. Remember, cars have blind spots and the last thing you want to do is create more of them when packing up for a long trip. Once you have finished packing your vehicle make sure to check your mirrors for obstructions and fix them before hitting the road.

Always wear your seatbelt – The first thing you should do before you even start your vehicle is to make sure that you and your passengers are all buckled up.

Make way for emergency vehicles– If there is an accident where emergency vehicles and personnel are on the scene, do not forget to give them the space they need to remain safe. Slow down and safely switch lanes to allow them a safe distance.

Do not drive while impaired– Never drive under the influence of alcohol or any other mind-altering substance.

Keep your cool – Stay patient while you are stuck in traffic. Remember, it will clear up eventually. When you are freed from the traffic jam, avoid trying to make up the time you lost by speeding or tailgating. Driving aggressively only increases the possibility of receiving a ticket or causing a collision.

Join Onlia’s Safety Movement

Take a second to join this amazing movement, presented by Onlia by following along on their social media channels, using the hashtags #CalmedyCommute and #OnliaCA

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Every driver should feel safe and focus on the road. Next time you are feeling your frustration growing, find something to make you laugh and follow some of these safe driving tips. It will make your commute less stressful and help to ensure you get home safer.

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