The perspective of time as a commuter is interesting. On the surface, one either has time, or one doesn’t. Judging by the average commute speed on Pacheco Boulevard of 75-85 miles per hour, I would say everyone is in a hurry.

Simple logic would say the higher the traveling speed, the higher potential for a serious accident. However, this does not deter a need for speed in most cases.

Consider this: person “A” is traveling at 85 miles per hour and reaches their destination at 7:45 am. Person “B” is traveling at 75 miles per hour and reaches the same destination at 7:55 am. This essentially means person “A” accepted the higher risk to get there, well…10 minutes earlier than person “B”. When talking to well-seasoned commuting veterans, they prefer a reduction of speed to arrive safely.

Let’s look from differing point of view. If person “A” left the house 10 minutes earlier in the morning, they too could travel at 75 miles per hour and still arrive at 7:45 a.m. See how that works?

There is only one problem, time is of the essence in the morning for most commuters. How does a person add 10 minutes of preparation time prior to their morning to commute? That’s a tough one!

Personally, I am not a morning person, so I rise from a night’s sleep with little extra “goof-off time.”  In reality, this time is spent on mindless things to help me shake off the “morning cobwebs.” I’m also not rushed, and by the time I start my commute, my mind is in a good space. Again, I realize this routine is not for everyone, but if possible, give it a try.

Plenty of my commuting friends have shared their evening and morning routines that keep haste at bay. Fill your gas tank a day before travel. Prepare your lunch the night before. Shower the night before (not dictating hygiene habits, just sharing).

Lay out your entire wardrobe at night. Have your morning smoothie prepped and the entire process ready to go. Have your keys and wallet in a common location. It is the worst searching for either of these items before walking out the door.

Now, should you decide to wait in line for a Starbucks, you have just unbundled all that saved time. Wait times vary at coffee shops and convenience stores in the morning, so try to avoid them at all costs.

So, we’ve discussed the concept of time and time saving tips. Will this help? Probably not! But in my heart of hearts, I do feel a few commuters may change their routines to increase their safety.

Again, think about it. Ten minutes of saved time in the morning means commute speed can be reduced by 10 miles per hour. Fewer darting cars sound great to me, but it takes more than a few for real change. The good news is that all change starts as an idea. Safe travels, my commuting friends.

Rob Robinson