Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

You know about emotional eating, but emotional driving?

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They call it comfort food for a reason. It makes you feel better when you are bored, tired, sad and maybe even mad. Eating with your emotions is something many people do, and while it may affect their waistlines, it doesn't usually put other people in danger.

What may put other people in danger is when your emotions control how you drive. If you were to think about the last time you were upset while behind the wheel, you know it can happen. Your emotions can distract you from the road, slow down your reaction time and affect your judgment.

Let's look closer at how emotion affects driving ability

Negative emotions often cause people to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do. For example, if you experience certain emotions while driving, you could find yourself engaging in certain unsafe driving behaviors, such as those listed below:

  • If you are angry, you probably aren't paying much attention to the road.
  • Impatience could cause you to drive too fast for the road, weather or traffic conditions.
  • If you feel rushed, you may not adhere to traffic laws as you would otherwise.
  • If you are worried, stressed or depressed about something, it will likely consume your thoughts, which means you probably aren't paying attention to driving.
  • Impatient drivers tend to tailgate, which doesn't give you much room to respond to an emergency.
  • If you are in a hurry, you may speed up to get through an intersection before the traffic light changes from yellow to red. Under these circumstances, you may run a red light.
  • If you are rushing or impatient, you could cut off other vehicles.

As you can see, any of these circumstances could result in an accident. Even taking a few deep breaths could change your outlook and allow you to get to your destination safely. The problem is that another driver sharing the road with you may not take a few moments to calm down and get his or her mind on the task at hand.

If that driver loses control of his or her vehicle, it could slam into yours. In the aftermath of the crash, you could face days, weeks or months of recovery. Your financial losses could make it difficult for you to support you and your family. Under these circumstances, you could exercise your right to file a personal injury claim against the other driver, seeking compensation for your losses and other damages.

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