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Emotional Driving As Dangerous as Distracted Driving, Study Says

Distracted driving is a serious issue that has been exposing countless drivers to major risks nationwide. But as drivers learn to deal with the risks associated with distracted driving, other risks are identified and studied by experts.

According to a recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, drivers are 10 times more likely to crash when they are experiencing strong emotions. If you’re angry, sad, crying, or you’re simply emotionally agitated, chances are you might end up experiencing a serious accident.

The study also suggests that distracted driving activities that require you to take your eyes off the road will double the crash risk. If you use a handheld device, attempt to read or write while driving, or make use of touchscreen menus while driving, you’re twice as likely to be involved in a crash.

Researchers say that most drivers engage in distracting activities more than 50 percent of the time they sit behind the wheel.

After looking at the habits of over 3,000 drivers, researchers learned that being angry or crying increases the chances of accidents dramatically. Even more so than when you compare the risk rate with drivers who are distracted.

Multiple news sources say that psychologists have known about this risk for a long time. Claiming that many professionals are fully aware that whenever the intensity of emotions increases, drivers are more likely to experience cognitive issues, making it hard for drivers to focus on the road and on driving itself.

Other discoveries made by the researchers may also surprise some drivers. For instance, drivers who travel well above the speed limit are 13 times more likely to be involved in crashes. What researchers also found is that driver performance errors such as braking when it’s not necessary may also increase the risk of crashes. Being unfamiliar with the vehicle the driver is operating may also make crashes more likely.

Drivers who take part in other activities such as applying makeup or following too close to other vehicles are also risky, yet researchers found that those factors are not as common. As a result, few crashes were actually tied to those activities, even though they are usually believed to be more present in the real world driving environment.

The Virginia Tech researchers decided to carry out a naturalistic driving study, meaning that they used real world data to identify the real risks.

With the help of this study, we now know that both emotional and distracted driving are dangerous, so avoid both situations by either postponing the driving experience until you’re in a better emotional state to drive, while also keeping in mind that phone use and other distractions may also make you more likely to crash.

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