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How Emotions Affect Driving Safety

March 21, 2017
Risk Management

While doing research for this week’s blog, we found on an article entitled “How Emotions Affect Driving” on the dmv.org website.  After reading the article and discussing the article’s content we decided to play a little “word” substitution game.  We substituted the word “employee” each time the author used the word “driver”, exchanged the author’s use of the word “driving” or phrase “driving safety” simply with the word safety, and overlaid additional workplace terminology.  Here are a few excerpts from the first section of the article, “It’s All About Awareness” with our word substitutions in bold:

Most employees are aware of the affect that things like drinking and cell phone use have on their safety, while giving little consideration to other factors that can be even more distracting. Fatigue, stress, and our emotions have a serious effect on safety, causing serious impairments that we may not even be aware of. If you are worried, upset, frightened, depressed, or even happily excited, your safety skills can be as negatively impacted as they would be if you were engaged in an intense phone call or after having consumed several alcoholic drinks.

If you are angry or upset or otherwise annoyed, whether due to something unrelated to work or because of a work incident, pull away from the task. Take a few moments to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax. If the emotion is particularly strong, take a short walk, or go get something to drink (non-alcoholic, of course); just stay off of the task until you have time to settle down.

If you find yourself drifting into worry, depression, or if you are thinking too closely about something that has happened, make a concerted effort to put it out of your mind until you stop the task. Some people find that making a hand gesture of dismissal to themselves helps, as does the distraction of music. Use the energy to instead focus on your safety, and give yourself time to sort out the troubling issue when you do not have to work.

If it is a matter of feeling rushed, hurried or just generally impatient, give yourself a bit of extra time before you start out. That will help you avoid getting even more frustrated with other workers or other things that are out of your control.

We encourage you to visit dmv.org and continue the substitution game on your own.  After doing so, we believe that you will agree with our conclusion… the language and principles of safety are universal.

Inteli-Safety Team

The Intelivert Inteli-Safety Team consists of seasoned safety professionals, business process experts, compliance specialists and market analysts who strive to provide valuable content to keep our clients and our readers informed. Our blog content focuses on safety, regulatory and compliance trends, technology and other current events.

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