Alleviating Anxiety on our Roads

In today’s fast-paced world, the daily commute or road journey can be a significant source of stress, tension, and anxiety for many individuals.

The uncertainty of traffic conditions, roadworks, and unexpected delays can trigger worry and frustration, affecting our mental well-being. However, there is a solution that not only provides essential information but also helps alleviate anxiety and reduce stress levels: variable message signs (VMS).

Our portable signs displaying real-time information on road conditions and journey times have a surprising impact on the mental strain experienced by road users. In this blog, we will explore how VMS can benefit mental health by reducing stress, tension, frustration, and worry, and how they contribute to a more positive and anxiety-free driving experience.


The Detrimental Effects of Stress and Worry

Stress and worry take a toll on our mental and physical health. The constant anticipation of traffic congestion, unexpected roadworks, or delays can create a sense of helplessness and exacerbate anxiety. Studies have shown that chronic stress contributes to a range of health issues, including high blood pressure, insomnia, reduced cognitive function, and even depression. Therefore, finding effective ways to minimise stress and worry during road journeys is crucial for promoting mental well-being.

Stress-Relief: Real Time Information

Variable message signs play a vital role in reducing anxiety by providing road users with up-to-date, real-time information. These signs display essential details regarding road conditions, alternate routes, and expected journey times, allowing drivers to make informed decisions and plan their journeys more effectively. By knowing what lies ahead, road users can mentally prepare for potential delays, reducing the element of surprise and the resulting stress.

Alleviating Anxiety

The fear of the unknown is a common source of anxiety, and this applies to road users as well. The ‘what ifs’ that accompany a journey can cause significant stress and worry. However, VMS products provide a solution to this problem. By displaying vital information these signs address the uncertainty that often plagues drivers. They act as a reassuring guide, eliminating the need to imagine worst-case scenarios and allowing road users to focus on the present moment.

Reducing Frustration

Delays and unexpected road incidents can quickly lead to frustration and tension. Traffic congestion, detours, or unclear directions can trigger emotions that are detrimental to mental health. Variable message signs mitigate these negative emotions by keeping drivers informed and aware of the situation at hand. By providing accurate and timely updates, VMS help drivers anticipate and understand the causes of delays.

One major additional benefit is the one our roadworkers can experience. A calmer driver is less likely to subject roadworkers to a torrent of abuse – something roadworkers sadly face on an increasing basis.

“There are some really important elements to portable VMS that we believe are overlooked.” Said MVIS Sales Director Graeme Lee.

“In a world where stresses are high enough, we don’t want a road network filled with anxious, angry drivers -it isn’t good for anyone. Journey time information is so important to drivers and enables them to adapt as they travel. With the common integration of Bluetooth into cars now for telephone use, an informed driver can keep in touch if required to advise of any changes to their journey and subsequently, their plans.”