Everyone complains about traffic when it gets bad, but it actually more than just an inconvenience. Dallas-Fort Worth-area metroplex made the top-10 worst commutes in the country. We made it in length of the commute (No. 5 with 54.95 minutes) as well as the stress level (No. 7) with Austin ranking third and Houston ranking sixth. This is according to a recent study commissioned by the staffing firm Robert Half, which collected data from more than 2,700 workers in 27 U.S. markets.
This is the price we pay to earn a living and live in this wonderful area that continues to thrive and draw new residents. But the stress and frustration of being in the car can have a deep effect on your personal life as well.
The commute impacts your happiness
Another study focuses on the long-term implications of these commutes and how they affect your marriage, and news wasn’t good:
Bad commutes lead to unhappiness: Individuals experience an increased irritability, both in their car and elsewhere. The study adds that individuals with a commute of an hour or more each way require an estimated 40 percent more income to have the same satisfaction in life that other non-commuters have.
Unhappiness leads to bad marriages: Being less happy translates into being less available for a balanced life and less interested in maintaining a relationship – commuters going more than 45 minutes each way were 40 percent more likely to divorce or separate from their spouse.
Getting a new job, working from home or moving may not be option for some. If that’s the case, there are certain tricks that help make the drive less of a grind. These tips include:
- Listen to your favorite music, audio books or perhaps even a podcast
- Check in with your spouse and other loved ones as you drive (using a hands-free set up), so home time can focus on other topics
Even being aware of it is a start
Being aware of the negative impact of these drives will perhaps add a layer of patience when you deal with your spouse, or they with you. Perhaps you both have miserable commutes so you can (and maybe already do) commiserate about the drives. The first study above about the length and stress of the drive can also validate and confirm what you already see every day. You can take solace in the fact that many others regard it as terrible as well.