The Risks and Consequences of Emotional Driving

The Risks and Consequences of Emotional Driving

There are a lot of things you shouldn’t do in the driver’s seat. You shouldn’t drive while intoxicated. You shouldn’t distract yourself with your phone, food, drinks, or other people in the car. However, there’s an equally dangerous driving behavior that people don’t talk about as much. Driving while emotional puts you, your passengers, and other drivers at risk. Whether you’re angry, sad, scared, or even joyful, intense emotions can distract you and inhibit your ability to react quickly to mishaps on the road. Learn more about the risks and consequences of emotional driving to make sure you stay calm and safe every time you hit the road.

Intense Emotions Behind the Wheel

Emotional driving takes many forms, but the common danger is the intense emotions you experience while in the driver’s seat. Whether you’re shaking after a heated argument or fighting back tears after some bad news, you can’t completely focus on driving when you’re in a highly emotional state. Even worse, changing factors on the road can worsen your feelings. For example, a bad day at work plus heavy traffic is the perfect setup for road rage, which, in turn, can lead to dangerously aggressive driving. 

Consequences of Emotional Driving

No one likes experiencing intense emotions behind the wheel. The physical and mental stress of extreme anger, worry, or sorrow is exhausting, but the risks and consequences of emotional driving are even worse. Intense emotions often evoke physical reactions—such as crying, trembling, or locking your muscles—that make it harder to stay in control of your vehicle. Emotional driving might cause you to miss a red light, swerve out of your lane, or cut off other drivers. Moreover, high emotions behind the wheel frequently lead to other problems, like distracted driving and road rage. Any of these actions can lead to a traffic ticket or a suspended license, in which case you’ll need an SR22 car insurance policy to reinstate your license. SR22 policies change from state to state. For example, if you receive an SR22 requirement in Washington, you’ll have to learn the specific laws and details for SR22 insurance in Washington so that you can meet your requirements and reinstate your license. 

How To Stay Calm On the Road

Intense emotions already impact your day, but you don’t have to let them impact your entire life. If your emotions start to get the better of you while you’re driving, find ways to calm down. Mindful breathing and soothing music can help you work through your physical responses so that you stay in control of your vehicle. If you can’t find a way to calm down without distracting yourself, find a safe place to pull over. Once you’re off the road, take some time to rest and reset. It can help to call a loved one and talk through your situation until you feel calmer. If you don’t want to talk to someone, try taking a walk (if you’re in a safe area), practicing deep breathing techniques, or scrolling on your phone until you feel ready to drive again. By getting out of danger and giving yourself time to reset, you’ll feel calmer and more in control once you’re back on the road.