What happens if you get bad news while driving?

So you’re driving along, possibly having a sing song and enjoying life, when the phone rings in the car. Of course you’re hands free. You are, after all, all about safety when you’re driving.

But what do you do when you answer that call and it’s the worst news you can think of?  Obviously it’s best that the person on the other end doesn’t tell you but they might not realise you’re driving. Or they might ask if it’s safe to tell you something  and you naively say ‘sure’ because you don’t believe it will be the worst news ever. So they tell you. And your world stops.

Well, it doesn’t, clearly, because you’re in the car.  Other cars are around you. What do you do?

Frankly, this is when driverless cars will come into their own; when the car can take over as you absorb the information you’re being given.

But as that’s not the case just yet, how the heck do you deal with it?  This happened to a close friend last week, and here’s how she coped.

🚗 Pull over. Safely, obviously, but get off the road. Next junction, next turn; whatever, just get out of the stream of traffic. Fight your instincts and DO NOT slam on your brakes. Keep going until you can get out of the way.

🚗 Control your breathing. If you start to hyperventilate you will take on too much oxygen and potentially pass out. So deep controlled breaths which will in turn help to stem the inevitable tears.

🚗 Call someone. You need to share the information and get help. If you need to get back home then keep someone on the phone who can talk utter rubbish to you until you are back safely. If at any time you feel your eyes filling up then pull over again. It might take you 10 more minutes to get home but at least you’ll get there in one piece without creating another disaster.

🚗 If you’re prone to panicking, then you need to get someone to come and get you. Or park your car and call a taxi. Having a full-on breakdown while driving is not the answer.  Speeding is also not the answer.  Anything that puts you and other drivers in danger is not the answer. You get where we’re going with this.

It’s great having technology in the car. It’s brilliant that we can make and receive calls safely. But we can’t control the information that floods through that tech, and so we need to control ourselves.

We hope this is never something you have to deal with but if you do, the tips above could, we hope, get you back to your loved ones safely. Then you can get that cuddle and let those tears flow ❤


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