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How Emotions Like Anger and Sadness Affect the Way You Drive

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Having a bad day? If so, then it’s a good idea to stay off of the road, says a recent report from Virginia Tech. A new study conducted by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute revealed that drivers increase their risk of accidents by nearly ten times when they are angry, sad, crying, or emotionally agitated when driving.

In fact, getting behind the wheel after engaging in an emotionally draining conversation or experiencing something tragic, like the notification of a death in the family, has just as much of an effect on you as consuming a few glasses of alcohol does. Although it may be hard to believe, driving while under stress puts you and those around you at risk for becoming seriously injured or worse.

Common Mistakes Made When Driving While Mad

Did you just get into an argument with someone and are now extremely angry? Getting behind the wheel while you are feeling this way can result in driving mistakes that can end in accidents. Some of the most common include:

  • Speeding. A lot of satisfaction can be felt when putting the pedal to the metal, but great danger can result from doing so, as well. Taking out your aggressions by speeding is not only a poor way to deal with your emotions, but it’s dangerous, as well.
  • Swerving in and out of traffic. Anger often creates the need for speed when driving. If the person in front of you isn’t driving fast enough, you may be compelled to go around him and could cut the person off in the next lane. Engaging in this type of behavior when driving could cause an accident.
  • Tailgating. You’re mad and you want the world to know, so you’ve decided to ride too closely to the car in front of you. Perhaps you want him to speed up, or you just don’t feel like slowing down enough to put a safe distance between the two of you. For whatever the reason, the situation could end in disaster if the car stops abruptly and you end up crashing into the bumper.

Mistakes Made When Driving While Sad

Driving while you are sad is a lot like driving when you are distracted. If you are preoccupied by something sad that has happened, you aren’t able to pay full attention to the road in front of you. As a result, you could end up making the following mistakes, which could cost you your life:

  • Not focusing on what is in front of you. Your mind is somewhere else when you’re sad, and the road ahead isn’t often your first priority, although it should be. When you’re not entirely focused on the road, you could become involved in a dangerous situation, such as driving through a red light, not stopping at a stop sign, not seeing a car barreling towards you, or not seeing a pedestrian walk out in front of you.
  • Driving like you don’t care. You may be sad enough to feel hopeless, and that defeated feeling may spill over into your driving. You may not feel like turning on your directional signals, giving someone the right of way, or even looking to ensure you’re not driving into oncoming traffic. The result could be an accident that sends you or someone you love to the hospital.

When Emotions Get the Best of Drivers

Unfortunately, you can’t control the emotions of the drivers around you, and you may become the victim of an accident because of another’s carelessness. If this happens to you, the attorneys of the Wayne Wright law firm may be able to help. Schedule your appointment today to speak with a legal professional about your situation by calling 800-237-3334. We may be able to help you receive financial compensation that can cover your medical bills, time lost from work, and damage to your vehicle.

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