Everyone knows that driving distractions are all around – and most people do what they can to limit them, whether that means turning off their cellular phones or giving the kids something to occupy themselves in the back seat.
However, one of the biggest distractions you face behind the wheel could be coming from inside your own mind. Your emotional state, or mood, can vastly affect your ability to concentrate when you’re behind the wheel.
Bad moods can lead to risky behavior
Studies have long connected bad moods with bad driving. When you’re preoccupied with anxiety, frustration or anger, it’s hard to pay attention to the road as well as you should.
In addition, negative moods can even escalate when you’re behind the wheel. A bad mood can cause you to take chances, make mistakes or react with hostility to other drivers around you. A minor transgression by another driver can become amplified in your mind, and you can’t have your whole focus on the road if you’re yelling at the cars around you.
Bad moods don’t catch all the blame
It should be noted that negative moods aren’t the only ones that cause distracted driving. You can become distracted just as badly due to strong positive feelings.
If you’re “walking on clouds” because you just got that job you wanted, got engaged or had something else spectacular happen that leads to intense feelings of joy, your mind may be somewhat disengaged from your driving until you calm down.
Unfortunately, you can take all the steps you want to reduce your chances of being in an accident, but other drivers may not do the same. If you’re injured in a wreck caused by another driver for any reason, find out more about what it takes to get fair compensation for your losses.