How Your State of Mind Can Affect Your Driving

Posted by at 30 August 2019, at 14 : 26 PM

How Your State of Mind Can Affect Your Driving

You’ve passed your driving test and have years of experience on the roads- you’re equipped to handle anything when it comes to driving… right? Wrong. While buying a safe car, properly maintaining it and having a driving license so you know the rules of the road are all crucial, your state of mind plays into things much more than you might realise. Here’s how.


The first and most obvious thing that can and will affect your driving ability is being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Research has shown over and over again that those under the influence are more likely to cause or be involved in accidents, not only are your confidence levels increase but your reaction times are slowed and your vision can also be impared. Since alcohol affects each of us differently, there’s no way to calculate how many units we can consume and still remain under the limit. Body size, gender, tolerance levels and if you’ve previously eaten are all factors that can come into play. The best thing you can do is abstain from drinking alcohol completely if you know you need to drive, and also find alternative ways to get home the morning after. Many people unwittingly drive still over the limit where they go to sleep and then drive the next way- be aware it can take many more hours to leave your system depending on how much you had to drink.


Driving tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any car accident attorney could tell you just how devastating this can be. It goes to show that you don’t necessarily need to be breaking the law to be putting yourself and others at risk. Not only are your reaction times and vision not at their best but you also run the risk of actually falling asleep at the wheel which could have devastating consequences. If you’re driving long distances, make sure to schedule stops so you can sleep before you’re getting overly tired. If you feel a little drained, stop the car (in a safe place) have a walk around to clear your head and drink some coffee to perk yourself back up. In some cases, a short nap can be enough to give you the energy to keep going.


As humans we are driven by our emotions, while most of the time we manage to keep them in check, when they’re running high this can be dangerous for driving. If for example you’ve been given some bad news and are very angry or upset, it’s important to give yourself time to calm down before getting behind the wheel. Call a friend and have a chat or just go for a walk to clear your mind.


Finally, being unwell can affect your driving for a number reasons. Firstly, being tired causes the issues highlighted above. Being unwell might also affect your concentration and reaction times, if you have the flu and are feeling weak for example you might not be able to fully control a vehicle. You also have to be careful with medication, even over the counter prescriptions can be dangerous to drive with so always be sure to check.

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