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Strong emotions can easily distract drivers

As you go about your daily commute to work or drive the kids to school, you likely do not think much about how another driver's day is going. You may think about what you should pick up at the grocery store, the report you need to finish or scheduling your kids' after-school activities. Having these thoughts behind the wheel is not uncommon.

Of course, letting your mind wander is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. In fact, your emotions (and other drivers' emotions) could easily affect the way you drive. So if you have had a bad day, it is possible for your mood to leave you more distracted behind the wheel.

Emotions and distracted driving

Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of serious car accidents in Kentucky and across the country. You may understand that cellphone use is a major problem and would never use your phone while driving. However, you may want to think about how the following emotions could affect your focus as well:

  • Angry/Upset: If something has happened that angered you or upset you, such as having a fight with your spouse or learning about the death of a loved one, it is likely that you will not immediately push those thoughts out of your mind when you drive. As a result, those feelings could easily compromise your decision-making.
  • Depression: If you feel depressed, you may often feel your mind wandering and continually thinking about negative aspects of your life. Unfortunately, this means you likely are not focusing completely on driving.
  • Impatience: If your kids made you late for work or another issue put you behind, you may feel impatient to get to the office. However, if you feel rushed, you may end up speeding or disregarding other traffic laws because you are focused on getting to work quickly and not necessarily on your and others' safety.

Almost any strong emotion could compromise your ability to focus on driving. So while you may now make an effort to stow your emotions while behind the wheel, you may want to keep in mind that you do not know how other drivers are feeling. As a result, an emotionally compromised and distracted driver could easily cause an accident that leaves you injured.

After a crash

If a distracted driver is responsible for an injury-causing crash that leaves you suffering, you may want to remember that you have legal options. Filing a personal injury claim could allow you to seek compensation for resulting damages.

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