How Stress and Emotional Driving Can Result in an Accident

A distracted driver behind the wheel has a higher risk of being involved in an accident. Even taking your eyes off the wheel for a moment can have serious consequences. For example, answering a text takes less than five seconds, but at 55 miles per hour, that’s long enough to travel over 400 feet. A great deal can happen in that time.

It doesn’t have to be texting or some other activity to put drivers in danger, however. A wandering mind is equally as dangerous. Thinking about an argument you just had or feeling stressed about something will severely diminish defensive driving skills. You may cause an accident or be less able to avoid one.

Recognizing and Dealing With Stress

Stress cannot be shut off easily. You need to recognize when emotions are running too high to be behind the wheel. Take a walk to clear your mind or sit in your car with your favorite songs playing until you are calmer. It is better to be late to where you are going than to not make it at all.

Avoid Stressful Situations When Driving

Stressful situations can also come up during the drive, but many of these can be avoided. For example, never have an argument on the phone while you’re driving. Traffic can be another irritant, but if you allow extra time for the trip, you’ll be less likely to get upset over heavy traffic.

If an erratic driver is upsetting you, try to change your mind set by imagining why he or she might be driving that way. For instance, someone trying to push you down the road may be trying to get to the hospital in a hurry. It doesn’t hurt to give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Switching your brain from upset to sympathetic will do wonders for reducing stress.

If you do find yourself in an accident, don’t let the stress of the situation cause you to make mistakes. The steps you take right after the accident will make a difference. After getting medical attention and contacting the police, your next call should be to an attorney. The O’Brien Firm, PC has been assisting accident victims in Buffalo for more than 25 years. We recommend that you consult us before you provide a statement to your insurance company.


The O’Brien Firm 716-907-7777