When Minnesota drivers hit the road, they are often prepared for the usual dangers. These can include road construction, bad weather, poor visibility and drunk drivers. What many fail to consider is that their own emotions can have a serious impact on their ability to drive safely. Whether it’s excitement, anger or sadness, the National Highway Safety Administration states that emotion can be as distracting as texting and driving.
DriversEd.com identifies some emotions that affect driving as fear, stress, strong positive emotion and exhaustion. The first step in keeping them under control is to recognize the feeling. When drivers are swept away in emotions and thoughts, they may not even be aware enough to identify what is affecting their driving.
One thing that can help drivers who are emotional is deep breaths. Racing thoughts can be soothed and relax with slow, deep, even breathing. This allows drivers to maintain control on their emotions, so they are safer on the road. Focusing on pleasant memories and thoughts can also help to calm a driver down.
Many drivers listen to news stations or podcasts while driving. What they may not realize is that when that news turns negative, it can affect their driving. Rather than listening to negative programs, now is the time to switch to soothing music. This can also be true with heavy, hard music. If the feelings are already swirling and intense music is added, it can often make the situation worse.
Drivers can also choose to sleep before they drive or to wait if their emotions are too heavy. If something is weighing on the mind of a driver, the reality is that it may get worse when they get on the road. Those who are well-rested and calm are more alert and capable of handling a vehicle on the road. Emotional control by drivers keeps the roads safer.