The #CalmedyCommute Experiment

*This post has been sponsored by Onlia but all thoughts and opinions are my own*

I currently live in suburbia and have lived in suburbia my whole life. With that being said, I made it a point to get my driver’s license as soon as I turned 16. Over the course of my driving career I’ve encountering drivers who do not use their signal, cut me off, drive excessively fast or excessively slow, and developed something called road rage.

Road rage comes in many forms – whether it’s laying your hand on the horn, flipping off other drivers, tailgating or yelling at the top of your lungs in the car. Road rage has got the best of us at least once in our driving careers. My road rage consists of yelling profanities at other drivers while honking my horn (an occasional flip off may make an appearance as well). In more intense scenarios, I would tailgate, but recently taught myself to not let my road rage escalate to this because it is dangerous.

Now, I’m very aware of how bad my road rage can get so when Onlia, a new digital brand that cares about road safety, reached out about an opportunity to explore the effects of comedy on road rage, I had to participate! Onlia offers a suite of digital safety products, including auto insurance, a safe driving app, and on-demand roadside assistance.

The #CalmedyCommute

For 5 days, I commuted in and around the city during rush hour and construction areas while listening to a provided hour-long comedy podcast to see if laughing would help calm my road rage.

To ensure my authentic reactions are captured, Onlia hooked me up with innovative technology that would analyze my emotions through facial recognition software and biometric data. I had a dual channel dash camera set up in my car and a wristband that monitored my heart rate, skin conductance and activity (keep scrolling for my road rage reactions in the #CalmedyCommute video).

The purpose of this experiment? It’s simple, to help keep our roads safer.  

My Experience

Day 1 – On this day, I drove with no variables (music, podcast, etc.). Driving with no music made me more aware of my road rage.

Here’s a little background on where my road rage comes from:

  • Non-signal users: My ultimate pet peeve on the road are drivers who don’t use their signals. I don’t understand why this is so difficult! The signal is there for a reason. If you don’t use it then I have no idea where you’re trying to go (end of rant)!
  • Slow drivers: Please don’t do 30 km/h in a 60 km/h zone and please don’t be in the fast lane on the highway when you’re only doing 100 km/h
  • Summer construction: During this hour drive, I also noticed all the construction around Toronto. Combine construction, traffic and bad drivers – it’s bound to be a road-rager’s nightmare!

Day 2 – This was the first day of listening to the #CalmedyCommute podcast. Truthfully, the comedy podcast I listened to didn’t fit my comedic style. With that being said, it did not alter my driving behaviour; my road rage was still very much alive.

Day 3 – Not much change from the day before. A driver who did not use their signal swerved into my lane and set off my road rage.

Day 4 – The podcast was pretty entertaining and for the majority of my drive, I was pretty calm and relaxed. I did come across an accident on the 401 where some drivers thought that switching lanes would result in shorter traffic time. Well, news flash it didn’t! I think it actually caused more traffic that way. Even though this was happening, I didn’t yell any profanities and instead I was calm and collected in my car. I think the comedy podcast was impacting my driving behaviour in a positive way.

Day 5 – Building on the positive momentum from yesterday’s drive, I was a lot calmer in my car and didn’t dread on the thought of driving (that’s a good thing, right?).

My Verdict

Overall, I feel the comedy segments did calm me down while driving. Although, there still were times where I wasn’t able to ignore drivers who either cut me off or didn’t use their signal, I felt more calm and relaxed with comedy playing during my commute.

I think listening to comedy podcasts could be beneficial for some drivers. I mean, if you’re laughing, how can you have road rage? Let me know in the comments below if you have road rage and what you do to combat it.

Interested in learning more about Onlia and their safety movement? Check out the website here and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for… the #CalmedyCommute video featuring yours truly in all my road rage glory, enjoy!

Stay safe out there, fellow drivers!

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