The Art of Joy Driving: the road to fun

If the DMV offered a Joy driving test, would you pass it? For certain, we know most 16-year-olds would. Why? Because driving is fresh, new, and a license to go just about everywhere at that age. From whip testing your car’s brand new speakers to screaming out lyrics with your friends on a long drive; every moment is one to remember. Let’s enjoy driving like we’re 16 again. Let’s experience the optimal level of bass bumping. Let’s roll down the windows. Let’s sample the best romantic lookouts. Let’s get a slushy.

We know a few things about optimal driving since we sell modern, flexible auto insurance at Toggle®. Check out our tips.

Rear view of man waving through off-road vehicle window while driving on road Tip #1: Bust out the hand signals.

Many people believe roads were built to transport stuff. Actually, when the Mesopotamians built the first paved road in 4000 B.C., they quickly discovered that cruising in a chariot for no good reason felt fantastic. Presumably, they also invented pleasure driving. No doubt, they next discovered the magical power of the thumbs-up. We’ve been experiencing sign language dopamine ever since. In fact, challenge yourself to do a certain number per trip. Travel at 10 TUPH (thumbs up per hour). Rule of thumb: don’t be stingy with the good vibes. 

What about the middle finger? When is it okay to use it? Never. Holster that thing. The open road is a driving community that thrives on happiness, generosity, and forgiveness. Especially when some unenlightened motorist cuts you off. 

Here’s more: peace signs, little hand hearts, and finger gestures indicating “I love you” — all approved. Alternative signals include sticking your tongue out at a little kid or throwing a big, juicy Marilyn Monroe wink at another handsome driver like yourself.

All fun aside, serious science backs the virtues of joy driving; it's been proven that carrying out acts of kindness increases the sense of mental well-being of the person spreading the joy (source:

Happy man embracing girlfriend from behind while wrapped in blanket on road tripTip #2: Surprise yourself. It’s possible.

Joy driving is all about aiming for nowhere. Don’t overthink it: grab your keys and go where the road takes you. Just drive. It worked for Lewis and Clark. 

Driving aimlessly is the number one cause of discovering the unknown. Like rumbling up to that roadside fruitera with the tangiest, ripe, and most succulent mangos this side of Lake Okeechobee. Or that taqueria you didn’t know you were going to seek out the rest of your life. Taking a pit stop at a nature lookout ignites your latent desire to bust out the paints and become the next Claude Monet. And you discover visiting the world’s largest ball of twine provides the best conversation starter of all time. 

Spots that can only be found through unconventional exploration. You know where it is, and they don’t. Thank you, aimless driving. 

Outback road with storm brewingTip #3: Put your soundtrack on lock. 

No one knows exactly why, but it’s an irrefutable fact that music just sounds better on the road. The lyrics hit our souls harder. You probably already know listening to music releases endorphins and distracts us from stress (source:, but why does music sound enhanced in the car? 

One interesting theory is that driving gives you a sense of freedom, adrenaline rush, and mental stimulation that are all synergistic with the music — they all amplify each other. Music does have a real effect on our driving abilities. One smart study found that listening to music can lift your mood and help you feel calm, cool, and collected while driving, encouraging safe driving behavior. That’s music to our ears at Toggle Auto, because safe drivers are happy drivers. 

So make a playlist ahead of time on your favorite streaming app, or make a collab playlist with friends. That’s jazz, baby. This way, you won't have to be on your phone while driving and searching for that perfect song. There’s no joy in distracted driving.

Portrait of young woman with eyes closed listening music in a carTip #4: Master the zen of the traffic jam. 

Is driving good for mental health? Yes, it absolutely can be. A true master of the joy drive doesn’t let the traffic jam own them. They own the traffic jam. Being stuck at 0 MPH, bumper to bumper, does not mean your stress levels need to ascend. On the contrary, a traffic jam is an opportunity for spontaneous mindfulness. The philosophy is to cut out all distractions to obtain a mental state of cool, calm concentration, and positive feelings. Highway zen, if we may. 

Lock the doors, put your phone in airplane mode, and breathe deeply. Become one with your environment. Let home and work life stressors melt away. Become fully present; by accepting the things you cannot control, you achieve control. 

Meanwhile, and not to get too scientific, mindfulness meditation is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in the brain involved in things like emotional regulation (source: ScienceDirect). So legit.

woman holding vehicle doorPhoto by William Christen on Unsplash

Tip #5: Chill with Mother Nature in the passenger seat. 

As long as you return to your original departure point, on the same day, with no set itinerary, that’s a joy drive. Remember this when you set out on a ride through nature. 

Open your windows, breathe deeply and let the wind tousle your hair. Take in the views. Majestic mountains. Rolling hills hiding sun-drenched valleys, all rammed into the rafters with perennial beauty. Nothing energizes the soul more than experiencing nature’s restorative power. Also, be sure to set the cruise control to 45 MPH, which many believe to be the speed at which we experience pure joy drive contentment. For some reason, and nobody knows exactly why, the most panoramically perfect roads were designed to have a 45 MPH speed limit. 

Secret: our National Park System is famous for hiking and camping, but they have amazing roads. Here are 10 national parks across every time zone you should cruise. Should the unexpected happen Toggle Auto is ready. You can log in to your account and visit the Get Help Now link under Roadside Assistance for help. 

Personal perspective point of view of a man driving along the Atlantic coast in Portugal

Tip #6: Squeegee negativity off your windshield.

Was the air really that much fresher? Was the sky really the bluest you’ve ever seen? Was that a traffic jam, or was it invaluable “you time”? It all comes down to being an “EV battery half full” kind of person. No more driving, commuting, or carpooling: driving is a privilege that lets you experience life in a new way. Finally, you get to escape the mundanity of life and get time back for yourself because you’re not driving for anyone else. That’s joy. 

Shot of two friends high fiving while on a road tripYou’re ready. Enjoy.

You’re 100% absolutely guaranteed to have a blast out there now. You’re going to love driving, again. Whether you’re driving a bug or a Benz. You’re in.

A lot of people would say there is great happiness in easy, flexible car insurance with 24/7 customer service, so get a quick auto insurance quote and Toggle On℠ Toggle Auto if you haven’t already. Oh, and don’t forget to take your pets with you. Question: does car insurance cover pets? We do. Toggle On Pet Passenger™ for additional coverage (if available in your state).

Driving is fun but you know what else makes people happy: getting a good deal on a car upgrade. Here is a blog that will make you want to spin the block.

Happy group of girl friends driving on a summer road trip

The information included in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as professional or expert advice. It is based on research and the collective experiences of the Toggle Team and has not been verified by any academic institutions, government organizations, or world-renowned scholars, but it does make a lot of sense and we do hope you find it useful. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what’s appropriate for you.

Links to third-party websites are provided for your convenience only. Toggle has not independently verified any of the information provided therein and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of such information or any content.


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