Emotional Driving in Texas – What it is and Why it Increases Your Crash Risk

female driver upset at text messagesIntense emotions and driving do not mix. Strong emotions make it harder for drivers to keep their eyes and mental focus on the task of driving, increasing their risk of causing a crash.

Anderson & Cummings partner Seth Anderson talks about the dangers of driving with intense emotions.

If you were injured by a driver who was dealing with an intense bout of emotions on a Fort Worth road, we may be able to help you. Our Fort Worth car accident lawyers have obtained millions for victims of negligent drivers. There are no upfront fees or costs with our services. Our attorneys do not get paid unless you get paid.

We are here to help. Call us: (817) 920-9000.

What is Emotional Driving?

Emotional driving is driving while you are experiencing intense emotions, such as:

  • Sadness
  • Panic
  • Stress or anxiety

Emotions like these can be cognitive distractions, as they make it harder to operate your vehicle safely. Even if you are looking at the road in front of you, you may not be concentrating on driving.

Positive Emotions Can Be Just as Dangerous as Negative Emotions

Intense positive emotions can be just as distracting as intense negative emotions. Excitement about something going on in your life or even the music you are listening to can be just as distracting as anger or anxiety. You may be experiencing nervous excitement because you are on your way to something you have been looking forward to, like a birthday celebration.

What Triggers Strong Emotions While You Are Driving?

There are numerous triggers for emotional driving. It is a good idea to review some of the common triggers because it may help you keep your emotions in check when you are behind the wheel.

  • Running late to work
  • Arguing with passengers
  • Arguing with someone on the phone
  • Stress at your job
  • Getting cut off by another driver
  • Getting a raise at work
  • Getting fired from your job
  • Hearing exciting news about your friends or family members
  • Anticipating something, such as if you are on your way to meet someone
  • Heavy traffic
  • A difficult session with a psychologist

Why Intense Emotions Put Drivers at Higher Risk for a Collision

Extreme emotions can affect drivers in a variety of ways, making them more likely to cause a crash. For example, intense emotions can cause tunnel vision, which makes drivers less likely to notice what is happening around them. Emotional driving can also result in impaired judgment and slower reaction times, making it harder for drivers to react quickly enough to danger.

Tunnel vision, impaired judgment and slower reaction times can result in many reckless driving behaviors, like:

  • Speeding
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Not staying in your lane
  • Quickly weaving in and out of traffic
  • Tailgating other cars without realizing it
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Running red lights
  • Running through stop signs
  • Sudden stops

Emotional drivers often act like drivers who are intoxicated. They are prone to some of the same dangerous actions as drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For example, you are more likely to take unnecessary chances while you are dealing with strong, positive or negative emotions.

Emotional driving can also be just as dangerous as distracted driving. You have probably heard about how distracted drivers are more likely to speed, follow other cars too closely or fail to yield. Intense emotions can have the same effect.

Intense emotions can cause various types of dangerous collisions, including:

  • Rear-end crashes
  • T-bone crashes
  • Collisions with pedestrians or bicyclists
  • Sideswipe crashes
  • Intersection collisions
  • Multi-car pileups
  • And more

If you were injured in a collision caused by a distracted or emotional driver, Anderson & Cummings may be able to help you seek compensation. Emotional driving can lead to negligent behavior that can cause a crash. Drivers who are negligent, no matter the cause, can be held liable for injuries and damages caused by a crash.

Coping With Strong Emotions While Driving

It is critical for drivers to learn how to control their emotions while driving. There are practical steps drivers can take to avoid getting behind the wheel while they are experiencing strong feelings.

For example, some people like to drive to clear their heads after a stressful day. This is a bad idea because your emotions are going to make it more difficult to put the necessary focus on driving. There are other things you can do to clear your head that put you and others at less risk. For example, you could take a walk, listen to some music, watch your favorite TV show or play a video game.

Here are some other tips on managing your emotions while behind the wheel:

  • Safely get off the road and give yourself time to get your emotions under control
  • Lower the volume on your music and avoid playing aggressive or angry music
  • Avoid taking the actions of other drivers personally
  • Do not make eye contact with aggressive drivers
  • Avoid making any aggressive gestures toward other drivers
  • Never try to confront another driver by following them and pulling over in front of them
  • Give yourself more time to reach your destination to prevent feeling anxious
  • Avoid having cellphone conversations while you are behind the wheel
  • Remind yourself to focus on driving
  • Do not use your horn unless it is absolutely necessary
  • Take some deep breaths before you get on the road
  • Avoid speeding, as you will eventually need to slow down and this can be irritating

Often, drivers simply need to learn some patience. A little patience can go a long way in preventing you from getting overly emotional while you are driving.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance After a Texas Auto Accident

Distracted drivers can cause catastrophic crashes that result in life-altering injuries or fatalities. Victims and their loved ones may not know where to turn for help.

Anderson & Cummings has decades of combined experience helping car crash victims take on insurance companies and secure the compensation they need. Call us to discuss what happened and learn how we may be able to help you.

Experienced lawyers. No upfront fees. Call us today: (817) 920-9000.

*These are actual dollar amounts paid to clients after the deduction of attorney fees and expenses.


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