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Negative emotions can be a major distraction for drivers

More than likely, you get behind the wheel of your car most days of the week. You probably have daily obligations that you cannot address from home, and no matter what your mood may be, you have to get in the car and drive.

You probably don't have the luxury of skipping work because you're in a bad mood or because you had a fight with your spouse, and it's important to keep in mind that your emotions can affect the way you drive. In fact, studies have shown that strong emotions can be a major distraction behind the wheel.

How do specific emotions affect driving?

Here are how particular emotions tend to affect driving behaviors:

  • Worry: Worries are difficult to put out of mind. If something worries you, your mind will likely return to the issue while you're driving. Everybody worries from time to time. It's just important not to let worries distract you from driving safely.
  • Anger: Have you ever felt angry about something not related to driving, and but still found yourself getting angry at other drivers? When people are angry behind they wheel, they tend to drive faster and feel more frustrated than usual about traffic. In extreme cases, people commit acts of road rage, and other people get hurt.
  • Impatience: Impatience and anger often go hand in hand. For example, you may find yourself feeling impatient if you're late for work or an appointment. Like anger, impatience can lead to tailgating, speeding or making other risky maneuvers to get to a destination more quickly.
  • Upset: People get extremely upset for all kinds of reasons. For example, if you receive bad news, you may be unable to get it out of your mind, and it's probably a good idea to avoid driving until your mood stabilizes.

What to do after a distracted driving accident

Emotions can distract drivers just as phones can. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for medical expenses and other costs resulting from the accident. Before accepting the insurance company's initial settlement offer, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.

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