You spend a lot of time behind the wheel. Here’s how to make it easier
If you’re like most people, simply getting to and from work eats up a big part of your day. It’s how far you have to drive from home to the office. It’s all those unexpected delays — construction, bad weather, crashes — that further slow your journey. All told, your day-to-day commute may be long, boring and, frankly, stressful.
It’s no wonder drivers are feeling more stressed-out about their daily commute. It takes up time that could be spent hanging out with friends and family, pursuing hobbies or even just working. And as a result, that daily drive feels like a chore.
The good news is there are ways to take back control so you can start to make your commute less stressful and even more productive. Follow these tips, some of which require a paid OnStar plan,* and you can begin to de-stress your daily commute.
Help others along the way
One of the biggest causes of traffic delays? Crashes or breakdowns that block lanes. OnStar Members can help get assistance to crash or breakdown scenes more quickly by acting as Good Samaritans. If you witness a car crash, encounter somebody who needs medical help or see someone stranded on the side of the road, simply push your red Emergency button* to talk to an Advisor and request help for them — even if the other person isn’t an OnStar Member. Learn more about how OnStar Members can act as Good Samaritans.
Check traffic before you leave
One of the best ways to relax your commute is to check real-time traffic maps ahead of time. Unexpected construction or road closures can not only slow down your drive to work, but they also make it more stressful. Need directions when you’re already on the road? Push your blue OnStar button and ask an Advisor for Turn-by-Turn directions* to a specific address, or any of 14 million points of interest in our database.
Send directions to your vehicle ahead of time
To save time when you’re ready to get on the road, you can send a destination to your vehicle before you even open the front door. Search for a destination in your vehicle mobile app* and send it to your vehicle using Send-to-Navigation.* When you start your vehicle, the route will begin automatically in your vehicle’s navigation system. Learn more about how you can get the most out of your vehicle mobile app. With a properly equipped vehicle, you can also use Connected Navigation,* which delivers real-time traffic updates to your vehicle — helping you steer clear of any potential slowdowns.
Check the forecast
Approximately 21 percent of all vehicle crashes are weather-related according to the Federal Highway Administration. Be sure to look at the weather forecast the night before your commute, and even the morning of, to see how conditions may affect your drive. Storms, whether snow, ice or rain, can contribute to slower traffic, which may mean you need to leave earlier to compensate for the extra time the trip will take. Or consider alternative plans, like working remotely.
Use Vehicle Locate to stay connected
It’s important to check in with loved ones, but sometimes we just forget. Fortunately, the Vehicle Locate* feature in your vehicle mobile app can help. You can create and manage boundary notifications for multiple locations and set up text message alerts to preselected contacts when your vehicle arrives or departs a specified area. You can use it to notify your partner when you leave the office or arrive at home, among many other situations.
Stagger your work schedule
If it’s OK with your employer, consider shifting your schedule a little to avoid the heaviest rush-hour traffic. Leaving earlier or later than normal (i.e., not a typical 9-to-5 schedule) could help you miss the worst of rush hour. And the more people who adjust their schedule, the tamer rush-hour traffic becomes.
Share a ride with others
Chances are pretty good you drive to work on your own. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 75 percent of American commuters drive to work alone and fewer than 10 percent carpool. But carpooling with neighbors or coworkers can allow you or your passengers to be more productive during the drive. With an available built-in Wi‑Fi® Hotspot,* and a paid AT&T data plan, your passengers can catch up on emails or other work while you drive. (Or vice versa if you switch up the driving duties.) Just be sure the driver keeps his or her attention on the road, not on any devices.
Telecommute when possible
One way to make your commute easier is to avoid it altogether. If your employer allows it, working remotely will help you avoid the stress of your commute. It’s an especially good idea if you know that construction or bad weather will make the drive extra difficult.
Switch up your route every so often
If you’ve been driving the same way to work for months on end, you’re probably getting bored of the journey. From time to time, it can be a refreshing change to find new roads to get you there. You may also discover new neighborhoods or other sights and destinations along your route — maybe a cool new coffee shop for your morning caffeine boost or a restaurant you want to visit on the way home. Plus, research shows that switching up your daily routine can actually help exercise your mind and bolster your memory.
Know that OnStar is on your side
Even if you plan ahead, the unexpected can still happen on your drive. It’s good to know that in those cases, OnStar Members with a paid Safety & Security Plan,* — or a plan that bundles Safety & Security with Remote Access* capabilities — have the added confidence that there’s someone there to help. Automatic Crash Response* can connect you with help after a crash, even if you can’t ask for it. And if you experience a flat tire, dead battery or another issue requiring a tow, you can simply push the blue OnStar button to speak with an Advisor and request Roadside Assistance.* Roadside Assistance is also available right from your vehicle mobile app or infotainment system. Learn more about how to get Roadside Assistance.
You might not be able to make your commute to work any shorter, but by following these tips, you should at least be able to make it less stressful — because there’s nothing worse than being stressed before you even start your hectic workday.