PRETORIA, South Africa – The link between traffic congestion and rising stress levels is established so Ford SA suggests an answer to effective stress management – an off-road adventure!
The auto brand says the American Institute of Stress points to rapid pulse, forgetfulness, frustration and general aches and pains that can cause traffic incidents through poor judgement, road rage and even panic attacks.
Data collated by Inrix, Ford says, rates Johannesburg as the 71st busiest city in the world for drivers; Cape Town ranks 29th globally. Ford SA believes such trends lead to stress that carries through to the work environment.
Ford SA believes its products can offer some relief thanks to tech that can help to soothe stress, such as an automatic gearbox, satnav, infotainment system, and smartphone integration, reversing cameras and sensors, semi-autonomous parking and safety systems.
Then, of course, the great African outdoors are just waiting for families to embark on off-road adventures: no traffic, no hold-ups, no speed cameras, no traffic cops.
”One doesn’t need to drive far out of the city to find open spaces and general peacefulness, Ford says, and ”off-roading is a great form of therapy for prioritising what’s important and concentrating only on the task ahead”.
Ford, of course, suggests the stressed-out among take a look at its range of all-wheel drive bakkies, such as the Thunder in the images.
”Taking control of your 4×4 to climb gravel tracks, ford (no pun intended!) rivers, or take on the challenge of an obstacle course,” Ford says, ”releases endorphins, dopamine and serotin in the brain, instantly elevate mood, brings balance to the body’s nervous system”.
Such vehicles, the South African arm of the Ford global empire, told The Corner, each have extra ride height and body protection but adds that the all-wheel drive system in the Ranger and Everest are essential when the going gets tough so have the latest technology: Ford’s Ranger pick-up and Everest seven-seater station wagon allow even novice drivers to experience the thrill off-road driving.
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The electronically selected all-wheel drive on the Ranger, or the terrain response system on the Everest, is said to allow the choice of mode for the obstacle ahead can be done in seconds from the cabin and send drive to the wheels with the best grip.
Gideo Basson from the Ford Adventure Club agreed that off-road driving could provide mental and physical escape from stress:
“I’ve seen the profound effect our off-road course has on people who lead a busy life stuck in the relentless traffic cycle.”
SKIP THE CELLPHONE
Off-roading, besides leaving claustrophobic Tarmac, demands great precision and attention to detail, clears one’s thoughts and allows you to get mentally offline and off the grid.
“There’s no time to look at a cellphone, for instance. Even though the Ford Everest and Ranger have systems you can trust there is always a feeling of adrenalin flowing through your veins after completing a challenge.
”This leaves a lasting effect that will make tomorrow’s drive to the city that much more enjoyable.”