Effects of Driving While Stressed, Angry or Tired
Whether you’re calm, nervous or hot-tempered, your personality affects the way you drive. Don’t let your emotions dictate the way you drive.
Don’t “Blow your stack!” – When stress occurs due to other driver’s lack of courtesy or recklessness, think over the situation, calmly reason your response; avoid reacting in a like manner. Initiate the action using defensive driving techniques.
Mental/Physical: Try to avoid driving when upset or excited. It dramatically decreases your alertness and judgment. When driving, always try to remain calm and relaxed. Do not however, use drugs or alcohol to relax. Also, try to avoid stressful situations. If you cannot, pull over where safe and calm down. Also, avoid driving when sick because you may not be able to react as quickly.
Driving angry is dangerous to you and other drivers. Signs that you are driving angry include, tailgating, horn-blowing at the slightest inconvenience, driving too fast for the conditions and weaving in and out of traffic.
You must remember that you have a dangerous weapon in your hands. If you are waiting in rush-hour traffic too long you may become angry. If you feel that you are too angry to drive, don’t.
Stress and driving are a dangerous combination. You may become stressed-out from the ever-increasing demands of your personal life and that stress could translate into a collision. As the tension mounts, judgment wavers. Remember, nothing is stressful unless we permit it to be.
Driving when tired can be fatal. Every year, hundreds of drivers fall asleep at the wheel and many are killed in fatal collisions. These sleepydrivers probably thought they could stay awake long enough to arrive home. They could not stay awake, and for them, they never arrived home.
A few helpful hints to stay more alert include, rolling down the window and turning up the radio or stopping and getting some coffee. If these methods are not working for you, the most responsible thing you can do is to pull over and rest for a while. Better to get home later than not get home at all.
inability to focus on driving If you are tired, you are less alert and lose your ability to focus on driving. You may not see hazards as soon or react as quickly, which increases the possibility of danger. Remember you not only need to concentrate on what YOU are doing, but also what OTHER DRIVERS are doing as well. If you are sleepy, the only safe cure is to get off the road and rest. If you don’t, you risk not only your life, but also the lives of others around you.
To keep from getting tired on a long trip…
- Get a lot of rest before you start
- Don’t take any drugs that can make you drowsy
- Don’t drive for an extended period of time (Set a common sense limit of 300 to 400 miles a day)
- Roll your window down and get some fresh air in your face
Such emotions such as anger can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Never express your anger on the road. REMEMBER: DRIVING A CAR IS AS DANGEROUS AS PLAYING WITH A LOADED GUN.
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