Emotions can increase accident risk by up to 10 times

Emotions can increase accident risk by up to 10 times
Emotions can increase accident risk by up to 10 times

Driving in an altered emotional state can increase the chances of being involved in traffic accidents by up to 10 times.

The information, the result of a study by the Virginia Tech Transport Institute, in the United States, is the motto of this year’s National Traffic Week, which runs until Sunday, the 25th, and raises the alert for the importance of topics such as mental health. , emotional intelligence, self-knowledge and stress to reduce the statistics of accidents and deaths on the roads and in the streets.

“Anxiety, euphoria, sadness and anger are examples of emotions that can interfere in the daily life of the individual as a whole, impacting his family life, relationships and results at work, compliance with the routine and also his performance as an agent in the traffic, be it a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian”, says the psychologist and manager of Communication, Environment and Human Resources at RodoSol, Márcia Guerrieri.

Another data also strengthens the thesis that worrying about emotions is important to reduce or avoid traffic incidents.

Statistics indicate that human errors are the main causes of accidents.

“When analyzing these flaws, lack of attention appears at the top of the list. Many factors can generate inattention, such as the use of cell phones in traffic, but there is no doubt that emotions can affect our ability to focus, concentrate, react and respond”, says Geraldo Dadalto, engineer and CEO of RodoSol.

He reveals that, after the lack of attention, disobedience to traffic signs, speed incompatible with the road and alcohol consumption appear in the ranking of causes of accidents, problems in themselves, but which can also be related to emotions.

“Someone who is angry, impatient or under severe stress will have a harder time respecting the signs, for example. The issue of alcohol intake, in turn, can be the cause of inattention and also generate emotional out of control. These are examples of how this discussion is important in the search for less violent, more humane and safe traffic”, reiterates Dadalto.

traffic education

Sweden is among the safest countries to drive and has one of the lowest rates of traffic accident deaths in the world.

There are 2.8 deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants, while in Brazil the number is 22.

Experts point to traffic education as one of the most significant differentiators in the Nordic country.

To give you an idea, a Swede starts learning about road safety from the age of four and the topic remains on the agenda in his education until university.

“Training the new generation with awareness of traffic is essential to change accident rates. It is necessary that drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists understand that each one must assume their responsibility for the well-being and safety of all. Traffic is a network, it is a daily and collective construction… That is why education has such an indispensable role”, considers Geraldo Dadalto.


I. Self-knowledge

Self-knowledge is important for everyone to recognize their own limits and strengths.

Thus, it is possible to adopt a more conscious and responsible posture in traffic. If the driver knows that he is more anxious, tense or tired, for example, he can choose not to take the wheel at that moment.

II. control of emotions

Directly linked to self-knowledge, the control of emotions is facilitated when one is aware of oneself.

Being centered and balanced facilitates lucid decision and avoids impulsiveness in traffic. Reveal inappropriate attitudes of other drivers instead of seeking to give “change”; not to honk excessively as a reflection of impatience; understanding that aggression can have serious consequences for oneself, for their families and for others are behaviors that will make a difference in everyday life.

III. Motivation

Motivation drives us towards goals. One way to adopt a conscious and focused behavior is to set goals that motivate you. P

For example: “They’re waiting for me at home. I’m going to drive calmly to get there safely and be reunited with the one I love”. Or, “I want to get home to rest. If I avoid the stress of traffic and focus on positive thoughts, I’m sure to arrive less tired and safer.”

IV. Empathy

The much talked about, but not always practiced, “empathy” – putting yourself in the other’s shoes – helps us to be more tolerant, sensitive, collaborative and calm in traffic.

By being empathetic, I take on more gentle attitudes like giving in; being respectful of those who are most vulnerable (drivers in relation to motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, for example) and even understanding that mistakes happen and do not necessarily represent personal aggression.

V. Team Spirit

Thinking about traffic as a team in which each “player” is fundamental to the whole allows us to have a sense of our own responsibility and to develop a more friendly look at the other components of the network, failing to see them as “enemies” or competitors to be fought. win.

The victory is joint, of all, and not of one over the other. The excessive competitiveness of our times generates aggressiveness, stress and transforms the day-to-day traffic into an “urban war” that claims countless victims every day.

The article is in Portuguese

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