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Stress Makes You More Likely to Get In a Car Accident

By Evan L. Kaine

We can all agree that the stresses of life catch up with us from time to time. Whether it is the deadlines hovering over our shoulder at work, inconsolable children running through the house or burning last night’s dinner; the stress of everyday life catches up to us all. Unfortunately, you can add another stressor: car accidents!

According to the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, people who are dealing with an abundant amount of stress at work and home are more inclined to be involved in a car accident. The journal found that an estimated American spends 26 minutes (or an average of 32.6 minutes for Atlanta-based drivers) in their car every day – leaving time to think about work, home life and other responsibilities that distract them from the road. The study says the more “preoccupied” a person is with the stresses of work, the more likely their commute will end in a dangerous car accident.

The study also found that drivers who have a difficult time balancing both work and life will take more risks while operating a vehicle. The types of risks include texting while driving, overtaking the inside lanes, tailgating and performing other dangerous actions while driving. The second biggest stressor for drivers involved in accidents is if he/she has a difficult supervisor. The study found that these types of drivers are some of the worst drivers; resulting in agitated behavior and poorly operating a vehicle all the time (not just while commuting).

As we all can relate, the Atlanta area can have some of the worst traffic in the United States, so if you are even slightly stressed, it is important to not let that get in the way of your driving. According to WebMD, stress causes individuals to do the following:

  1. Feel cranky and unable to deal with even small problems. Feel frustrated, lose your temper more often, and yell at others for no reason. Behind the wheel, this can translate into ROAD RAGE.
  2. Feel jumpy or tired all the time. While driving, people may start to quickly change lanes or exhibit signs of drowsy driving.
  3. Find it hard to focus on tasks. This results in distracted driving which often results in car accidents.
  4. Worry too much about small things. Drivers may find themselves losing their cool if another vehicle didn’t turn quickly enough or traffic was a bit slower than normal.
  5. Feel that you are missing out on things because you can’t act quickly or imagine that bad things are happening or about to happen. This causes anxiety while driving.

Before heading out the door for your morning commute or leaving work after a long day at the office, please take a deep breath before getting on the road. Although life at work and home can be stressful, try to find your happy place while you drive. Any stress weighing you down isn’t worth getting in a car accident, being injured or worse.

For more information, get in contact with Kaine Law.

Published February 15, 2017
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