Share Tweet Pin It Email Print While some driving distractions—such as cell phone useor loud music—might seem more obvious, being overcome with strong emotions can be just as dangerous. Your judgment may become clouded as you focus more and more on an emotionally-charged interaction, idea, or event.
Stressed, fatigued or emotional drivers can suffer from impairments that drastically reduce their safety on the road. Feeling overly happy, sad, angry, excited or sad can affect your driving skills in a negative way without raising red flags like other risk factors do, despite similar dangers.
Running Late For example, you may rush out of the house in an emergency without a second thought about how your emotions will impact your ability to drive safely.
Furthermore, you may give in to the urge to hurry home after an upsetting day at work without considering how your feelings will affect your driving judgments and reaction times.
Luckily, you can practice mindfulness to identify when your emotions may be impacting your ability to drive safely. From there, you can take steps to mitigate the dangers at hand for a safe drive.
Calm Down Sometimes you just need to take a minute to calm down or cool off by pulling over to the side of the road. This is especially true if anger takes hold of your being during the drive. You can practice breathing exercises or walk it off until you feel your emotions stabilizing.
Do not return to driving until you feel like you have your emotions completely under control. Push Away If you are distracted by worry, sadness or deep thoughts, do your best to push those feelings away until you make it to a safe place.
You can use How distraction will affect the driving or a personal signal to waft the worries or thoughts away until later. Intense focus on the road, other drivers and your vehicle piloting techniques can distract you from the troubled thoughts while you move down the roadway.
Leave Early Frustration or impatience related to a need to avoid being late to your appointment can be eliminated altogether by leaving your original destination a bit early. You will be able to calmly cope with drivers who go under the speed limit or take a long time to navigate their turns if you give yourself extra time for your commute.
Furthermore, you will not have to worry if you get stuck in a construction zone or at a long light. The extra time will eliminate the urge to speed to make up time, which rarely works anyway and often results in a hefty ticket.
If you find yourself running late anyway, never take unnecessary risks, like attempting to beat or go around safety gates guarding railroad tracks.
Exploring Emotional Distractions Emotions powerfully grip the mind and body in a way that distracts you from all outside events. The level of distraction directly rivals common activities, like cell phone use, that receives attention from lawmakers and the media.
Bad Judgement Drivers distracted by their emotional state may make bad judgment calls and respond slowly to dangers in the roadway. Making safe turns or merging into traffic often poses a problem when emotions are running high.
Drivers lose their connection with others on the road and pay little attention to adverse conditions while coping with difficult or overwhelming emotions. Road Rage Coping Mechanisms Road rage is sadly quite common due to the increased number of drivers on the road today. Rage filled emotions increase the risk of collisions and violent incidents between drivers.
Furthermore, these situations put innocent bystanders at risk of bodily harm and property damage. The overreactions that happen are directly related to overwhelming feelings of anger.
Drivers must handle rage from other drivers appropriately to deescalate the situation and increase the chance of escaping unscathed. Distance Yourself When someone expresses rage toward you and your vehicle, it is important to attempt to distance yourself from his or her vicinity by pulling over.
Keep your doors locked, windows shut tight and stay inside your vehicle, in case the other driver stops too. Sit calmly and reassure your passengers that everything is under control. Do not make any quick movements or say anything to the other driver that could worsen the situation.
Display Regret Do your best to communicate regret and sorrow that the situation occurred without rolling down your window or opening your door.
You can use an open-faced hand gesture and mouth an apology to show the other driver you mean no harm and feel badly that the situation occurred. If you often make mistakes behind the wheel, consider carrying an apologetic sign to show to other drivers who may misinterpret your actions as purposeful.
Doctors interviewed for a recent study noted that more than half of all people are victims or perpetrators in road rage incidents at least once in their lives.
Appropriately handling the situation will quickly diffuse anger and end the encounter fairly quickly. If you cannot escape the other driver, you can call the local authorities for help.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationmore than ten thousand road rage incidents end in collision each year. Instead, drivers must see the errors as the accidents they are.
Otherwise, feelings of fear could turn to anger that feeds the road rage incidents.
A quick apology reminds fearful and angry drivers that the mistake was not directed at them, which often diffuses the situation before it escalates into violence or a collision. Staying In Control Once you master the ability to identify and control emotions while driving, it is important to turn your attention to other factors that influence the risk of collisions.Senior drivers.
Senior drivers can be affected by changes in vision, reaction time and flexibility – that can affect safe vehicle handling. We look at ways to maintain and improve safe driving practices and increase knowledge about other suitable transport options.
It’s no surprise that distracted driving is a major cause of car-related injuries and deaths. In fact, it’s estimated that roughly 25% of motor vehicle accident fatalities are a result of distracted driving..
But what causes us to be distracted while driving in the first place? Save money and stay safe behind the wheel.
Get info about car buying discounts, driver safety courses and the latest on car maintenance and safety. Mobile phone use while driving is common, but it is widely considered dangerous due to its potential for causing distracted driving and accidents.
Due to the number of accidents that are related to conducting calls on a phone and texting while driving, some jurisdictions have made the use of calling on a phone while driving illegal.
Many jurisdictions have enacted laws to ban handheld mobile. 9 Driver behavior. This html version contains only the text (no figures, tables, equations, or summary and conclusions). To check printed book appearance see pdf version of Chapter 1 or pdf version of Chapter Introduction It is crucial to distinguish between driver performance and driver behavior.
January 25, — A pair of studies by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm® identify factors that may lead teens to drive with multiple peer passengers and, then, how those passengers may affect their driver’s behavior just before a serious crash.