Driving when you are experiencing any form of emotional high or low can have a similar effect as driving when fatigued…
Road rage and anger-related incidents of violence on our roads are a sad reality. While these are extreme cases, driving when you are experiencing any form of emotional high or low can have a similar effect as driving when fatigued.
“Dealing with overwhelming emotions while driving, can be even more distracting than navigating a cellphone while driving – and these numbers are alarming. Discovery Insure has been able to measure distracted driving with their telematics technology. Findings include that the worst 10% of distracted drivers are 2.3 times more likely to be in an accident compared with the average driver,” said Themba Baloyi, Discovery Insure’s Executive Director.
Considering that intense emotions can negatively affect your ability to perform tasks and influence your thoughts, attitude and problem-solving skills, all of which are critical to driving well, it may be good to first gain your focus before making your trip.
How intense emotions can affect driving ability
Feeling worried, upset, anxious, depressed or even excited, can all meddle with your ability to spot or predict potential risks in traffic that you might have noticed if you were otherwise calm and not preoccupied. When you are under immense stress, it is possible to make riskier driving decisions, have tunnel vision and slower reaction times. These all make it less likely to notice and respond to things happening outside of the car and it can take a mere second to miss something that could lead to an accident.
Being alert and fully present are important to driving well. Knowing that driving safety is also influenced by emotions and finding techniques to keep your focus while driving can make all the difference.
Tips to avoid intense emotions from affecting your driving safety
“Staying calm can prevent road rage and will ensure everyone gets to their destinations safely. Lowering overall stress levels has a positive effect on many aspects of life, including coping with extreme emotions. By getting more sleep, exercising, and adopting relaxation techniques, people’s emotional and mental health improve. The fact is, finding ways to stay calm and patient is not just good for your overall wellbeing, but also for safety on the road,” concluded Baloyi.
Via: Discovery Insure