Unboxing Therapy: Enabling Inclusivity for Electric Vehicles

The United Nations considers mobility as a foundational human right. For decades, vehicles have shaped how people move around. Now, they form part of the foundation of modern human society.

However, not everyone has access to these transportation options. People with disabilities can find it challenging to enter a conventional car or drive toward their destination. As we begin the switch to electric vehicles, we must ensure that we take into account inclusivity.

The Push for Electric Vehicles

For decades, fossil fuel-powered vehicles were considered the only option for motorized mobility. Gasoline and diesel are energy-dense, meaning they can fuel cars without excessive weight or space requirements. Until recently, battery packs could not provide enough power without substantially increasing vehicle weight or taking too much space.

Technological advancements now allow electric cars to proliferate. These vehicles do not require fuels, such as gasoline or diesel, to operate. A charging session is enough for the car to start working. Moreover, electric vehicles do not use an internal combustion engine, eliminating most noise and vibration while driving.

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Switching to electric vehicles also results in lower carbon emissions. This feat is a boon to many countries pushing for substantial renewable energy. On a global scale, decarbonizing the transport sector is crucial in preventing the current climate crisis from escalating.

The push for a more stable climate has convinced many governments to hasten the transition to electric vehicles. The UK has promised to ban gasoline cars by 2030, while California will start the ban in 2035. Even car companies now recognize the need to shift, with GM promising to stick with electric-car production in 2035.

These efforts are admirable. However, they are not enough if we don’t include inclusivity in the picture. Conventional cars are difficult enough to use. With the ongoing shift to battery-powered vehicles, now is the best time to advocate for disability inclusion in the transport sector.

Current Barriers

Many manufacturers of battery-powered vehicles are using the same design principles they used for conventional automobiles. Unfortunately, this means that many design elements that hamper inclusivity remain while new barriers emerge.

For instance, many electric vehicles are adopting skateboard architecture for car design. This strategy places the battery pack under the car floor, reducing the available space inside the machine. The design forces manufacturers to raise the vehicle floor, making it harder for people with physical disabilities to enter the car.

Another stumbling point for inclusivity is the charging process. Many electric vehicles need to be plugged at a charging station regularly. The procedure involves inserting an electric cable into the charging port.

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Unlike charging your smartphone, charging your car requires physical mobility. The charging cable is thick and padded with insulators to convey high amounts of electricity. People with disabilities might be unable to carry the weight or be vulnerable to tripping hazards while maneuvering the cable.

Moreover, some people are unable to drive on their own. They might find it tricky to pay attention or react fast enough on the road. As a result, many may have anxiety about getting behind the wheel. Treatments such as exposure therapy may help address these conditions. But while these problems prevail, driving will remain inaccessible to them.

Additionally, electric vehicles have higher upfront costs. For people with disabilities or mental health conditions, an electric car might seem like another unnecessary expense. They already spend so much on physical checkups and therapy. If these vehicles are more expensive than other modes of transportation, this mobility option may not be an option at all.

Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars automate many aspects of the driving process. These vehicles have sensor systems and artificial intelligence programs that capacitate them to respond to the environment. A fully automated car can allow people to travel without using any driving controls.

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These vehicles can enable more people with disabilities to consider riding cars. These machines remove the burden of driving while maintaining safety. In addition, self-driving cars can adjust according to how nearby vehicles behave, implementing safety at the community level.

However, self-driving cars are not a panacea. Unfortunately, many prototypes continue to adopt the same design principles that made conventional cars inaccessible to people with disabilities. Self-driving cars may remain exclusive if people with disabilities can’t enter or exit the vehicles without assistance.

Vehicle Conversion

Providing vehicle conversion services is another solution for addressing accessibility. Several companies like MobilityWorks provide conversion services by modifying existing vehicles. Customers can request these companies to lower the floor of an electric vehicle and install other accessibility features.

However, vehicle conversion services are inherently limited by the original design. Some features, such as a ramp, need support from the original manufacturer. Conversion services are also expensive, with costs reaching $35,000 for lowering the floor of a single car.

The sustainable solution is to ensure that manufacturers incorporate PWD-friendly designs from the start. Nevertheless, conversion services are currently fulfilling an essential role in making cars more accessible.

Sustainability

As the electric vehicle industry matures for the next few years, the prices of their cards are expected to drop. Nevertheless, the costs of owning electric vehicles may exclude people with disabilities. Government programs can help shoulder many of these costs, incentivizing more people to switch to these cleaner cars.

The Motability Scheme is the hallmark program of the UK in enabling vehicle ownership for people with disabilities. Qualified individuals can enjoy a brand-new car every three years, with most costs handled by the government.

The list of electric vehicles covered by the Motability Scheme continues to grow throughout the years. The program also emphasizes accessibility features, such as automatic gearboxes and increased boot space.

In Conclusion

Electric vehicles are undoubtedly the next step in the evolution of the transport sector. They are part of the solutions we need for a more sustainable world, as they drastically lower our carbon footprint.

That sustainability does not need to come at the cost of accessibility. Through proper planning and inclusivity measures, we can ensure a just and equitable transition to electric vehicles.

 

How Therapy Can Benefit Car Accident Survivors

Car accidents frequently occur in the United States. They’re so common that they’re the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD among the general population. Moreover, vehicular accidents also cause other negative feelings like shock, unease, anxiety, and depression.

Despite the problems they are facing, many car accident survivors are reluctant to receive professional mental health help. Aside from the stigma surrounding therapy, some people don’t consider vehicular mishaps as traumatic. Many assume trauma only comes from major natural disasters and the death of people close to them.

Vehicular accidents can also cause a considerable shift in a survivor’s attitude and actions. After all, traffic and transportation are all around us. So, they often encounter these triggering images every day. Those factors may negatively affect their well-being, in addition to the physical injuries they may have already incurred from the accident. As such, you need to see a therapist if you suffer from a car accident.

Here’s how seeing a therapist can benefit you:

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Acknowledging Your Trauma

Accidents impact people negatively. It’s common for car accident survivors to have recurring nightmares about the incident. As a victim, you may also develop anxiety about driving or riding vehicles. Additionally, you may develop PTSD, anxiety, or depression. These disorders may lead you to become avoidant, preventing you from riding cars regardless of the reason or company.

Vehicular accidents may also prove more traumatic if you’ve sustained injuries, especially major ones. Being hospitalized and feeling constant pain may exacerbate the negative feelings you have from what happened. If you experience this, therapy can help you control your emotions as you recover from the damage. It will support you in your journey to getting back up emotionally.

The trauma becomes even heavier when there are casualties involved. Survivor’s guilt is common for those who made it out of accidents alive. You may feel like you did something wrong because you didn’t meet the same outcome as others. You may also blame yourself for the accident and the death of other people if there were any. These thoughts will all negatively impact your overall well-being, recovery, and future.

You should immediately seek a therapist if you find yourself having these thoughts. Remember, accidents are often out of your control. You did absolutely nothing wrong by surviving. Therapy will help you process your thoughts and emotions more healthily.

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Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Over time, you may find yourself feeling anxious and lethargic. You may even feel like you can’t and don’t want to get up. It’s tempting to succumb to this darkness. Sometimes, you may even find yourself not caring about things or being too anxious to do anything. Some survivors may even resort to severely unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or gambling. 

All of your feelings are valid. But it’s crucial to know you can’t go on with those habits in the long run. It’s not going to be easy, but your therapist can support you in getting back up.

With the help of therapy, you can develop healthy coping mechanisms that will aid your healing process. Your therapist will start with the fundamentals that would ensure your well-being. They will recommend you to build healthy sleeping habits, eat a balanced diet, and work out regularly. Exercising, in particular, is very helpful to people trying to overcome their trauma. It can help elevate your mood, lift your spirits, and make you feel stronger.

Your therapist may also suggest attending support groups. With the help of people with similar experiences, you can start coming to terms with your past. They can also provide emotional support as you go through a challenging time.

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Taking Care Of Your Mental And Emotional Health

Following a car accident, your mental and emotional health may decline. While that’s the body’s usual response after traumatic incidents, it’s best to seek a professional to mitigate its effects. If you find yourself experiencing that, you may want to consider going to a therapist.

It will be challenging to fully recover from a car accident, especially if it was life-threatening or if someone lost their life. Accidents can even be traumatic for spectators and bystanders. It’s common to be angry, lonely, afraid, and worried. And it’s okay! There’s nothing wrong with you if you feel these things even for a long time. However, know that therapy will help you recover from it all.

Your mental and emotional health may suffer if you’ve been through accidents. But while it’s valid, it doesn’t have to define you. You don’t have to live with those negative emotions your whole life. You deserve to feel better, more so after surviving a traumatic event.

Maintaining The Quality Of Your Life

Avoidance often accompanies the aftermath of car accidents. You may find yourself becoming anxious while driving or even just riding a vehicle. Since transportation is closely tied with our daily routines, being apprehensive about cars can negatively impact the quality of your life.

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By going to therapy, you may work on the anxiety or fear you’ve developed about vehicles. Your therapist will help talk you through your experiences as well as your emotions. They may also recommend other activities to support you in coping with your trauma and avoidance.

Additionally, they may suggest adjustments to your driving style if you’re wary of sitting behind the wheel. Wearing your seatbelt, avoiding distractions, and adhering to safety rules and regulations can help you feel more comfortable driving. You may also benefit from having your car checked regularly by a mechanic. Not only will you benefit from these changes, but also everyone you encounter on the road.

To Wrap Up

Experiencing a car accident can be traumatic. You may feel guilt or shock. Moreover, you may develop anxiety, depression, or PTSD. At times, you may even blame yourself for what happened. These can harm your mental and emotional health, in addition to the fear and pain you felt during the accident.

Thankfully, you can approach a therapist to help you recover. They will guide you in acknowledging your trauma and developing healthy coping mechanisms. With their support, you can improve your mental and emotional well-being and overall quality of life.

It won’t be an easy journey toward healing and recovery. But remember, your therapist will be with you every step of the way.

The Use Of Technology In Counseling Services

Every day there are new technological advances that promise to make our lives easier and better. For example, take a look at electric vehicles. People used to consider them impractical, but e-vehicles became a trendy and viable option for everyone. We only imagined these things in the past, but they have become a reality.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, everyone is advised to limit the number of people in a social gathering, if they hold one at all. A lot of people’s mental health has become unstable due to being isolated in their homes. However, thanks to the internet and various other gadgets, we can keep in touch with friends.

Today, we’ll look at how technology is being used to improve quality of life and counseling services in particular. We discuss the pros and cons of technology and some things to be cautious of when using technology in counseling.

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Technology And Online Counseling

Many things that we enjoy during the pandemic are products of technological advances, such as delivery and streaming services and communication apps. And now, because of the physical constraints imposed by the pandemic, telemedicine is being used more and more. Even medical consults are now done online.  

Because of this, counselors can help their patients even though they cannot meet physically. Online counseling lets patients meet with their doctors through an application online and with the internet. This way, doctors can reach out to their patients and help them with their concerns immediately. 

Online counseling provides the same level of service as traditional face-to-face counseling. The only difference is that the sessions are done virtually. Online counselors have a variety of options for conducting their consultations, such as:

  • Emails

You can exchange emails with your therapist to share your concerns with them. Your counselor will reply within a certain number of hours or days, based on what you’ve agreed upon. 

  • Phone Calls

You can also ring your therapist when you have something urgent. This is the method for you if you find it easier to convey your problems verbally.

  • Video Calls 

Video calls are the closest to the traditional face-to-face counseling sessions. These are more convenient, though, because you and your therapist are in the comfort of your homes. 

  • Instant Messaging 

Similar to emails, you get to communicate your issues to your counselor through writing. The difference is that instant messaging occurs in real-time, and you receive immediate responses from them. 

You have to take note that these mediums can be used independently or can supplement each other. Your therapist will determine when and how you will hold your sessions according to your needs and availability. 

The Effects Of Technology In Counseling

The advantages and effectiveness of online counseling vary from one person to another. However, here’s how technology generally improves counseling services:

  • Provides Dynamic Resources 

Technology made resources and knowledge more accessible to everyone, especially for counselors. Through the ever-growing library of resources, they can think of novel ways to help their clients. Now, they can make more dynamic approaches to address their clients’ issues on a more holistic level.

  • More Ways Of Communication 

Technology makes it possible for clients and counselors to talk virtually in many ways. Options include email, video conferences, chat rooms, and so many more. These channels help counselors interact with their clients, as well as collaborate with other counselors. 

  • Affordability And Convenience 

Online counseling can take place in the comforts of your own home. This makes it more practical and cost-effective for both counselor and client. It cuts down the expenses for fare and rent. 

  • Higher Accessibility  

Online counseling can reach more people compared to traditional in-person counseling. Those who have trouble meeting appointments due to their busy schedules will find this set-up convenient and more accommodating. People who have disabilities and can’t physically leave their homes can benefit from having online counseling sessions.

  • Assessment And Evaluation Of Clients 

With the help of technology, counselors can now make assessments and evaluations of their clients more effectively. They can make graphs, progress reports, and even referrals more easily. Compared to the old ways of storing physical records, counselors can store their clients’ data more efficiently. 

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Setbacks In Online Counseling

Despite being a novel way to address people’s concerns through online channels, online counseling still has setbacks that we must consider. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Lack Of Non-Verbal Interaction 

We communicate with each other not only through words but also through non-verbal cues. In traditional counseling, non-verbal cues are easier to notice. This is more difficult in online counseling since the interaction is done through computer screens, and many factors affect the quality of video transmission during a call. 

  • Therapist Qualifications 

Online counseling is steadily growing, and various sites offer this kind of service. However, you must check the credibility of the therapists that are available to you. Ensure that it is a professional who is assisting you with your issues.

  • Confidentiality Risk

The clients’ personal information could be compromised when stored online. Before making an appointment, please find out how they will store your information. Remember that you must always protect your identity. Any service that requests your identity must protect it as well.

  • Technology Troubles

Not everybody is computer and internet literate. Online counseling is more complicated for those who are less tech-savvy. Technical difficulties can also interrupt ongoing sessions and disrupt the flow of your discussions.

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With everything that’s happening in the world right now, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Living in a time when physical interactions are limited, we rely so much on technology to connect and reconnect ourselves and our loved ones. In times like these, we come to realize technology helps us in safeguarding our mental health. 

Online counseling is at the frontlines of preserving our mental health. It highlights the use of technology in addressing our mental and emotional concerns. It’s also a great alternative if you immediately need to talk about your problems with a professional. 

How Counseling Helps In Overcoming Driving-Related Anxiety

Driving is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences. Some people relate it to thrilling and enjoyable experiences. And yet, it is one of the most common situations that can trigger anxiety and panic behaviors. The American Psychiatric Association created the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to classify mental disorders. While driving-related anxiety isn’t an entry just yet, we know that driving-related anxiety is real. Those who have it can experience mild to extreme symptoms of distress.

People with driving-related anxiety feel the most challenged when they get stuck on bridges or tunnels. These individuals are likely afraid of how there is no easy or safe escape from these situations. They are also at risk of being completely home-bound. Additionally, they also tend to cause frequent traffic accidents.

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They need to take precautions to reduce the risk of this occurrence. Counseling can help people with driving-related anxiety in identifying the symptoms and sources of their stress.  Understanding the roots of this anxiety can help counselors develop a treatment plan to help their clients cope. A counselor can also teach specific strategies to deal with driving-related anxiety effectively.

Determining Signs Of Driving-Related Anxiety

There is no well-defined range of symptoms or signals for driving-related anxiety. This is because it can manifest differently among individuals. It can be anything from subtle distress when grabbing car keys to having a full-blown panic attack while driving.

Additionally, driving-related anxiety may have varying effects on a person’s thoughts, emotions, and actions. Some people will find it a slight inconvenience, while others will find it a major challenge to deal with.

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Your counselor will assist you in recognizing signs that driving is giving you mild anxiety. It may include:

  • Feeling restlessness when thinking or doing anything related to driving
  • Being easily exhausted before, during, and after driving
  • Struggling to concentrate while driving
  • Having nightmares about driving
  • Feeling extreme tension when driving

Understanding The Causes Of Your Driving-Related Anxiety

Like other types of anxiety, driving-related anxiety has a variety of possible underlying causes. It can be biological, environmental, or social experiences. Counseling can help you understand its causes. The following are some of the more common causes of anxiety when driving:

  • Have experienced car crash or accident
  • Have experienced uncomfortable driving situations
  • Having agoraphobia or fear of open spaces
  • Having a family history of anxiety disorder

You can learn if your driving-related anxiety is a symptom of a specific mental health disorder through counseling. If you have suffered any driving-related accident, you might also have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Coping With Your Driving-Related Anxiety

Your counselor can help you cope with your driving-related anxiety by helping you understand its causes. Counseling can help you explore strategies that can minimize your symptoms. Your counselor can guide you in implementing behavioral interventions to overcome your anxiety. Here are some strategies your counselor can help you with:

Making Achievable Goals

Your counselor can help you determine long-term and short-term achievable goals to overcome your driving-related anxiety. You must take concrete steps if you wish to achieve a long-term improvement of your anxiety. Your counselor can also help you be deliberate in your actions.

Practicing Relaxation Techniques

In counseling, you will also be taught relaxation techniques you can do on your own. The following are some relaxation exercises that can help you deal with your driving-related anxiety:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Mindful meditation
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Autogenic training
  • Guided imagery

Promoting Group Support

Having driving-related anxiety can be isolating. Another strategy your counselor may teach you is to find a supportive group. Support groups can improve your coping skills and keep you on track of your goals: tackle driving with your family and friends. Sharing your story with them can be a helpful process in reducing your anxiety.

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Treating Driving-Related Anxiety

Your counselor can help you in getting your driving-related anxiety treated. They can recommend a mental health professional who can tailor a treatment plan to manage your anxiety: therapy sessions and medication prescriptions are examples of possible treatment recommendations.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

People who are clinically diagnosed with anxiety are often treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy. The goal of this therapy is to explore the connection between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Through this, your counselor can identify negative thought patterns and behavior on your driving-related anxiety. They can offer you healthier and more positive alternatives to initiate behavioral change. 

Exposure Therapy

Part of reducing your anxiety is to take bold steps. In exposure therapy, you will be required to confront the stressful situation causing your anxiety. Your counselor may suggest that you try out driving a little. This process is called systematic desensitization. Your tolerance for driving can improve as these stimuli are gradually increased. Eventually, you will develop healthier coping mechanisms to overcome the anxiety associated with driving, and you will have a better relationship with driving overall.

Medications

Like other anxiety disorders, the use of medications can also be beneficial in decreasing symptoms of anxiety. A counselor can help you find medications you can use while driving. Some of the common medications for driving-related anxiety include:

  • Selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Other antidepressants

Overcoming driving-related anxiety, like any other anxiety disorder, is a lengthy and challenging process. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of this condition is important. Despite having no definitive list of these symptoms, a counselor can help determine if you have mild anxiety related to driving. Understanding the causes of your driving-related anxiety is also significant in creating a tailored treatment plan for you.

Your counselor can help you generate strategies and techniques to reduce your anxiety symptoms. With the repetition of these steps, you can develop resiliency and a healthier coping mechanism towards your driving-related anxiety. 

Suffering from anxiety related to driving can also be isolating. Besides seeking a counselor, it is also crucial for you to have a strong support group to guide you to recovery. Having as many ways to help you with your driving-related anxiety can only be good for you. Slowly get help for your anxiety, and have more freedom on the road!

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Counseling Benefits To Salesmen

Have you ever pulled all stops for something you believe in, even if others don’t?

That’s how I felt towards electric vehicles.

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Many people who loved muscle cars, SUVs, and other vehicles gave electric autos a lot of flak during its conception. They said that it would never last and that it would make you stuck in the middle of the road all the time. 

Whenever I heard such things, I often thought, “Hmm, but you have not seen one in person ever.” Because I wanted to make as many people as possible understand electric vehicles better, I volunteered to join the team that would go around the country in more than a year to present the new cars in all 50 states.

The Cost Of Traveling For Work All Year Long

When I informed my wife of my decision for the first time, my request to join got approved. She was worried about it, considering I would not be able to go home often. Her worry increased when I told her that we would mostly live in trailer trucks since it would be economically impractical to try to transport the electric cars via plane. 

“Are you sure about this, honey? You have never done it before,” my wife said gently.

“I know, honey. It’s just that there are plenty of misinformed people around the country about electric vehicles. As a salesman, I feel like it’s my social obligation to teach them and spread the word that the “car of the future” is now here,” I replied.

“Will you miss us, Daddy?” my seven-year-old daughter interjected.

I chuckled lightly as I tousled her hair. “Of course, baby girl! I’ll miss you every day. But will you be good to Mom while Dad’s gone?”

“Yes, Daddy!” my daughter exclaimed before paying attention to her toys again.

Traveling For Electric Vehicle Promotion

The first day of traveling finally came. When I told my wife that we would be living in trailer trucks, I honestly thought it would all be steel walls and floor mats. However, I was pleasantly surprised upon stepping in the trailer truck as the company transformed it into a makeshift condo, complete with a bathroom, a kitchen, a living room with TV, and few bunk beds attached to the walls. Because of that, I felt optimistic that I could endure this year-long trip.

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As for the job itself, it was not too complicated. The company had already coordinated with various car events, so all we had to do was roll in, spread out, and answer people’s questions about electric vehicles. After three hours, we would jump back in the trailer trucks and move on to the following location.

The only enemy I had from the second month of being on the road was homesickness. I missed my wife and kid every day; I was not used to being away from them for so long. Then, one of the supervisors opened up about how he managed to deal with the same thing during his first traveling work – through online counseling.

What are the benefits of online counseling? 

  • It is ideal for people dealing with depression, anxiety, etc.
  • It allows you to receive mental help remotely.
  • You need not leave the house for counseling.
  • You can talk to a counselor at any time of the day.
  • The cost of online counseling is more affordable than its traditional version. 

Is online Counselling effective? 

 Yes, online counseling is effective, though only for a limited number of mental disorders.

What are the benefits of counseling? 

The primary benefit of counseling is that a mental health professional acts as your sounding board as you process your issues and possible ways to fix them. They are not supposed to direct your actions, but they can paraphrase and summarize your words in hopes of shedding light on what you are likely missing.

When you do counseling, you can get other perks like:

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved personal, communication, and social skills
  • Better coping mechanisms

What is the best online counseling? 

 According to Verywell Mind, the best online counseling provider is Talkspace.

Is online therapy expensive? 

 No, online therapy is inexpensive. Assuming you pay $150 for traditional treatment, you may only need to pay $30 per hour of online treatment.

How do I know if I’m bipolar? 

 The first sign that you possibly have bipolar disorder is extreme mood swings. For instance, you feel like the king of the world one day, but then you get too depressed to leave your room the next day. Nevertheless, the only person who can diagnose you is a psychologist or psychiatrist, so try to schedule an appointment with one ASAP.

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Is BetterHelp worth the money? 

 Yes, BetterHelp is worth your hard-earned money. The platform offers licensed psychologists and therapists to their clients, so it’s impossible not to receive sound advice at a more affordable rate.

Can online therapists prescribe medicine? 

 No, online therapists are not allowed to prescribe medicine. If you think you need a prescription, you can talk to online psychiatrists.

Can you text a counselor? 

 Yes, you can text a counselor, as long as the online counseling platform you sign up to offers that service. Some cannot answer you immediately, but you may ask for a live text session anytime.

Can an online therapist diagnose you? 

 No, an online therapist cannot diagnose you. Although their license is no different from what traditional psychologists have, it is simply not allowed. You need to meet the mental health professional in person if you want to get diagnosed.

Can I talk to a counselor online for free? 

 Yes, you can. Just use the 7 Cups of Tea app.

How do I cancel my BetterHelp account? 

 To cancel your BetterHelp account, you may request its cancellation by emailing contact@betterhelp.com.

Does insurance pay for online counseling? 

 Unfortunately, no. It is highly challenging to find an insurance company that pays for online counseling, regardless if parity laws are in motion.

Why is therapy so expensive? 

 Therapy is so expensive because therapists undergo rigorous training to get licensed and certified before starting their practice. 

Can you better help write prescriptions?

No, BetterHelp therapists cannot write prescriptions for clients. If you genuinely need one, the platform has partnered with Brightside. This company can provide medications in a few states, so it may be able to help you. Otherwise, you must meet a psychiatrist in person.

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Final Thoughts

The first thing I did was try the free versions of online counseling platforms. I did not want to commit to it yet; I had never heard of such a treatment before. But once I got used to the idea of getting help online, I got a paid plan so that licensed psychologists and therapists could talk me through my homesickness at any time. I would say it worked since I managed to hold on to my sanity until we could travel back home. After that, though, I vowed only to do short-distance promotions so that I would not need to be away from my family for too long.

Surprising Mental Health Benefits Of Driving Electric Vehicles

It is commonly known that driving an electric vehicle is environmentally friendlier and cost-efficient alternative than petrol or diesel models, but a lesser-known benefit of going electric lies in its potential to reduce stress while on the road.

A study led by Dr. Duncan Williams, an acoustics expert from the University of York, and commissioned by the London EV Company (LEVC) suggest that EV taxi drivers are happier, more focused, and calmer behind the wheel compared to those who drove diesel cabs. 

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During the experiment, an electroencephalogram was fastened on the heads of four professional taxi drivers that ply the busy roads of central London. The device monitored brain activity while they drove EV and diesel black cabs and compared the results.

The study observed that EV drivers had higher levels of beta brain wave activity, an indicator of active concentration. The heightened alertness was most prominent as the drivers were waiting at traffic lights. 

Moreover, the heart rates of EV drivers were also less variable, a finding which may be attributed to the quieter working environment in an electric taxi. Generally, an EV has around 5 decibels less overall amplitude and a higher dynamic range than a diesel vehicle. While EVs do not entirely eliminate sound and vibration, aerodynamics and low-rolling-resistance tires keep noise levels to a minimum.   

Over the long run, reduced stress, sharpened focus, and less distraction improved the working environment for EV drivers, which increased their happiness. 

Contactless, Seamless Driving Experience

In addition to the physiological effects, some benefits of owning an EV have become more pronounced during the pandemic. 

If you own a home-based EV charger, there’s no need to go out and search for the nearest gas station. Just plug your unit overnight, and it’s ready to go the next morning. If you want to save up on electricity bills, you can take this even further by adding solar panels and battery storage capacity to your home. It also ensures that you’re protected from any sudden failures in the electric grid. 

This might seem small on the surface, but it’s useful to note that the petrol pump is a high-contact surface. With electric cars, you reduce potential exposure to the virus, so that’s one less thing to think about, especially in this stressful time.  

Some vehicle manufacturers like Tesla offer an end-to-end contactless buying experience where you can customize the details of your EV and pay for it online. Once you switch to an electric model, you may be surprised at the high-tech features that come with most units like pre-conditioning, thermo-regulated seats and steering wheel, and charger timing. 

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A remote access feature also allows drivers to check on their EV using their phone and control settings so that the car is primed and ready to go. 

First-time users will discover that EVs are highly responsive due to the strategic combination of engine and motor. The initial acceleration is comparable to some sports cars. Most EV models have a regenerative braking feature, which means you can start braking before your foot comes into contact with the pedal. 

By simplifying transport, EV manufacturers ensure that the driving experience is less stressful and intuitive so that you can focus on getting to your destination.        

Cost-Efficient Alternative

Maintenance cost is one less thing to worry about when you buy an EV. Although the upfront cost may be higher, EVs are less likely to break down and require mechanical repairs.  

Zap-Map estimates that plug-in vehicles can cut service, maintenance, and repair costs by more than half compared to petrol or diesel units. Pure-electric vehicles are mechanically straightforward and have fewer components that require servicing. The wear and tear on tires and brakes can also be reduced due to the regenerative braking feature. 

EVs also decrease running costs by up to 70% compared to conventional cars, mostly due to fuel savings. You don’t have to worry about your car breaking down or fuel shortages. 

If you’re worried about the steep initial cost, you can rest easy knowing that there’s a federal tax credit for EV purchases designed to incentivize these purchases. It is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax bill that can go as high as $7,500, depending on the unit and brand. 

Some states like Colorado and California offer additional incentives such as rebates, vouchers, and fee reductions. You can look up your state’s EV-specific tax offerings at the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website.

Source: pixabay.com

Final Thoughts

Despite the purported stress-reducing benefits of driving an EV, it’s useful to note that the study mentioned earlier was commissioned by LEVC, which has skin in the game. As consumers, we have to be cautious about studies involving vested interests and do our research, especially if it involves a high-ticket purchase like a car. 

However, anecdotal evidence does back the results of the study. In some cases, the knowledge that you’re driving a vehicle that contributes little to no emissions can make you feel relaxed and comfortable on the road. When you buy an EV, you buy into a future that’s less dependent on oil and play an active role in reducing emissions. 

Whether you’re a commercial driver or looking for your next family car, going electric is an option you should seriously consider.  

Perks Of Getting A Hybrid Family Car

When my wife and I tied the knot, I knew that it was only a matter of months before I needed to let go of my sports car. As much as I loved speed, I loved my family more. Truth be told, we found out that my wife was already pregnant with our first child several weeks after the wedding.

But if there’s one thing that I did not want to settle for, it’s a minivan. Give me a sedan or SUV, and that’s fine. However, a minivan might make me look like a joke on the road.

After long talks with my pals, we came upon an image of a hybrid car.

perks-of-getting-a-hybrid-family-car
Source: unsplash.com

What Is A Hybrid Car?

hybrid car is a new type of vehicle that runs on both electricity and fuel. Now, hybrid cars still differ when it comes to their transmission lines.

A common type is the series hybrid car. It is technically more electrical motor-forward, which entails that it works like typical electric vehicles. You can use it all over town, and the ride will always be smooth. When the battery loses its juices, the gas will work to recharge it without requiring you to stop.

The parallel hybrid car, meanwhile, seems to be ideal for many drivers. The reason is that this vehicle is smart enough to switch from electricity to gas automatically, even when you’re on the road. It entails that you can trust the car to take you to your destination, no matter where it may be.

perks-of-getting-a-hybrid-family-car
Source: unsplash.com

As for the plug-in hybrid, it boasts of a larger battery pack compared to the other two. It means that it may take a while for this vehicle to run out of juice, so it may not even require gas at all. Nevertheless, if it does, it follows the parallel concept; that’s why you still won’t notice any difference when the electricity ends and the fuel consumption begins.

Perks Of Getting A Hybrid Car For The Family

When you have a family, we recommend getting a hybrid car due to the following reasons:

Great Performance Options

As we’ve mentioned earlier, a hybrid vehicle gives you a choice to use gas or electricity when traveling. That’s one more option that you can never get from other conventional or smart cars, considering they run on either gas or electricity alone.

perks-of-getting-a-hybrid-family-car
Source: unsplash.com

When you opt for the battery, you should do it when you are going around the town. Though it works well, it is not ideal for freeways where vehicles need to run at over 15 miles per hour. In that case, you may switch to gas so that you can speed up. No one will then realize that you are driving a hybrid car until they see you return to relying on the electric motor again.

Ideal For Trips Out Of Town

In reality, many e-cars (especially the big ones) can be driven out of the city. As long as you don’t force it to accelerate too much, the engine won’t die down or give you other problems. However, some owners refuse to take them for such trips because they don’t want to make multiple stops to recharge the auto. That will honestly set them back for a few days.

Once you have a parallel or plug-in hybrid car, though, you can fill the tank with gasoline before you even leave the town. Even when the battery juices deplete halfway through the journey, you won’t have to stop at all because the gas engine can take over. If the trip is not too long, you may go back home without needing to refuel.

perks-of-getting-a-hybrid-family-car
Source: unsplash.com

Reduced Carbon Footprint

Many environmental-conscious friends of mine have been cycling across different states because they feel guilty about driving conventional cars. They often said, “How can I do that when I know how much carbon footprint it leaves on the planet?”

However, things had changed when they learned about hybrid cars. That is especially true when they found out that some types could recharge themselves through the fuel already in the vehicle (which is the case for series hybrids). Thus, it can reduce its carbon footprint significantly. Though they still ride their bicycles, my friends have already bought a hybrid car for family trips.

Final Thoughts

I talked to my wife about buying a hybrid family car, and we ended up getting the Chrysler Pacifica, a plug-in hybrid. We fell in love with it during our first test drive. While it was technically a minivan, it looked like a modern SUV, so I did not mind being seen behind its wheels.

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Source: commons.wikimedia.org

As for its performance, it was perfect for us. The large battery pack could last more than 12 hours, considering we always drove at medium speed ever since my wife got pregnant. When we took it to the woods for a family reunion one time, the hybrid car held up like the conventional ones, too.

I could see my growing family riding this hybrid vehicle for years.

 

Things To Know About Electric Vehicles

 

Source: electriccarsreport.com

The coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread havoc across the globe, particularly concerning the health, safety, and well being of the people and the environment we live in. There is no doubt that we will be able to surpass this challenge sooner or later. But in the aftermath, the economy, along with other significant aspects in our lives, will be different post-COVID-19.

While social distancing measures are being implemented to prevent further spread of the virus, many people may also avoid sharing vehicles with others, increasing the likelihood of people getting more interested in electric vehicles, particularly in some states. This will also encourage them to be aware of the better quality of air that they will be breathing because of these electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle sales have gone up to almost 40% in most European regions but ironically dropped to 9% in the United States. And in China, the EV market has also shrunk.

So what are electric-powered cars, and what are some choices you have in case you are considering getting one during these challenging times? Here’s a brief discussion of the basics of EVs and their types.

Source: af.mil

The Basics

Electric vehicles, or EVs, partially run on electricity, as the name implies. In contrast to the conventional cars that utilize diesel or gasoline-powered engines, electric cars, vans, and trucks run through an electric motor driven by electricity from a fuel cell or battery. On the other hand, not all available electric cars in the market run in the same way. Plug-in EVs have diesel and gasoline engines plus an electric motor, which is driven by a rechargeable battery. Some types of EVs don’t use liquid fuels completely, and they are exclusively operated by electricity. These are known as battery electric vehicles. Others are driven by hydrogen gas converted into electricity, also called hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

EVs And Air Pollution

Electric vehicles often cause less air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions compared to all forms of conventional vehicles. How many cleaners? That will depend on the type of EV and electricity source. When electric cars are driven by the purest electricity grids, gas emissions from these EVs can be compared to a vehicle running more than 100 miles per gallon. When they are charged solely with renewable electricity, such as wind or solar, charging and running an EV can be almost emission-free.

The Specifics

What type of electric car should I consider purchasing?

Battery-electric cars. These utilize electricity as their main and exclusive source of fuel, so the battery range must be matched to the purpose of its use. Recharging it away from your home, however, is not as difficult as before, because now there are workplace and other public charging stations in place. Also, since these battery-electric cars don’t have tailpipe emissions and gasoline, they are suitable for people who are climate-conscious and families who take several short-distance trips every day.

Source: needpix.com

If you’re more into the upgraded types of EVs, consider looking for a fuel cell vehicle, a new type that’s fast-growing these days, specifically in California. These vehicles provide more benefits, which include a long driving range and fast refueling time features, among other things. Learn more about them on the web.

Plug-in electric cars/hybrids. These EVs feature decreased refueling costs along with increased environmental functions as compared to conventional cars. And since they’re rechargeable, they use electricity for shorter trips and run them with gasoline on the long ones. For these types of working efficiently, drivers must have access to a station for the plug-in, although a typical 120-V outlet will work adequately. In addition, since most of the plug-in cars are passenger vehicles, those who are interested in buying won’t need space for five or more occupants.

Conventional cars/hybrids. These types of vehicles have the comfort and range of traditional cars while providing a top performance of an electric motor. Since they are all diesel or gasoline-driven, non-plug-ins are not considered electric vehicles.

 

 

 

3 Things To Consider When Buying An Electric Vehicle

The 2019 Motorbike Event happened to promote environmental awareness, particularly to vehicle owners, which encouraged people to switch to electric vehicles. Sadly, this year’s similar event got canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But if you’ve been thinking of getting an electric car for yourself, here are some things that you might want to consider.

Cost

An electric vehicle is more expensive than the cars that utilize internal combustion. Although to use one is for the best interest of the environment, it comes at a high price.

An entry-level can cost around $30,000. While Tesla Model X, a fancier brand, is twice the price at about $70,000. Because of the high cost, it gets tempting for most to get the usual internal combustion vehicle since you can get something more for the same price of an electric car.

Source: pexels.com

Battery And Charging Stations

These two factors are significant because it determines how much you can use the car. For the battery, you must consider its capacity. You must know for how long it can run in one charging, comparing it against what you need. Most people are apprehensive about electric vehicles because they worry about the distance that it can cover. Also, consider the battery life like for how long the battery can last before it needs changing since cells even experience wear and tear. 

Charging stations are equally important. Without them, an electric vehicle user can end up stranded. Research to know if there are charging stations near you. There is an option for installing a home garage charger, but it costs about $2,000.

Source: pexels.com

Maintenance

Consider also that electric vehicles are not conventional. Maintaining and fixing the car will need no ordinary servicing companies. If a breakdown happens and there’s a need to replace a part, it might be a challenge to get spare parts. The bottom line, maintenance for electric vehicles can be costly.

While the environment is in the best interest of electric vehicles, owning such may cost a fortune. Purchasing electric cars is no similar to getting ordinary cars, so make sure to consider the list above before buying.

Car Sales And Production During The COVID-19 Crisis

 

 

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Last March, almost every country in the world went on different levels of quarantines and lockdowns. With this came a down surge in the sales of global vehicles, which was already anticipated. Markets and companies from various parts of the world confirmed how they were affected. They tracked the increasing severity with the hope that soon, the COVID-19 crisis will subside.

China

Currently, China’s daily life is slowly reaching near-normal, with automotive factories prudently starting their manufacturing operations. Consumers have been gradually revisiting the showrooms, although car dealers still experience inventory shortages. Honda Wuhan is working overtime to resolve this shortage. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that there was a 42% decline in the first quarter of 2020, with 80% of the drop happening in February. On the whole, the automotive market in China remains fragile and struggling, with just 1.3 million vehicles sold last March, a 46% decrease compared to March of last year. Usually, if the world were COVID-free, the Chinese car market would have sold over 6 million vehicles only for the first quarter; now it is only 3.6 million.

As automobile manufacturers are slowly picking up on their operations, increasing demand is one of the most critical priorities. The Chinese government is currently offering cash incentives to encourage demand and to support the car business in its slow recovery. Some cities are also providing cash subsidiaries per vehicle sold.

Source: commons-wikimedia.org

In early April, Beijing declared that it was extending its tax breaks and subsidies for NEVs or New Energy Vehicles for two years. It is clear now that these types of vehicles are more affected compared to other markets. Only 53,000 of these were sold in March, which is less than half of the usual sales made last year. This report excludes Tesla, however, as the company is striving to provide what is necessary to its Chinese car consumers; thus, there is some kind of replacement effect. At any rate, while the car industry can rebound anytime in the second quarter this year, it is also doubtful if it could sustain or make up for its previous losses. Analysts agree that China’s declining car sales in 2020 will be nearing double digits.

United States

Care sales in America for the past month has expectedly dropped by almost 40% – approximately one million units, which is the lowest for March since ten years ago. For this reason, car production ceased in mid-March. Chevrolet acquired the most significant loss in terms of volume, and this was followed by Nissan, Toyota, and Honda, declining by more than 60,000 units. Most states in the country, however, reported that sales during the first week of March were slightly normal. Perhaps, according to analysts, these figures may not have been accurately pictured the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak. They continued to say that April and May will probably be the same considering the extension of lockdowns. They anticipate a loss of automobile sales to almost 14 million units for the whole year.

Europe

The COVID-19 crisis in Europe remains to be dangerous. France and Spain were among the first countries to announce a lockdown, which led to automobile sales, dropping to nearly 70% per market. In Germany, the country that previously acquired the largest car sales, the drop was seen at almost 40%. On the other hand, March is usually the strongest selling month for the United Kingdom, with the most number of plates registered. But this year, SUV and other passenger car sales decreased to a whopping 45%. Last but not least, Western Europe figures, in general, showed a decline of more than 50% car sales.

South Korea

Source: m.theinvestor.co.kr

This is probably one of the very few places in the world where news is not very bleak in terms of car sales. South Korea’s local car industry that includes Hyundai, GM Korea, Kia, SsangYong, and Renault-Samsung, went back up to almost 10% in the month of March, rebounding from its large loses in February, with a20% decline due to automobile manufacturers shutting down.