Truck drivers get extensive training to handle the many risks of the road, but not everything can be controlled. Something as simple as emotional state can have a profound impact on road safety and on trucking accidents.
While more studies are needed on the impact of emotions on trucking accidents, there is evidence linking strong emotional states with car collisions. According to a study from Virginia Tech, motorists who drive when sad, agitated, or anxious have ten times the risk of being in a car accident. This makes sadness more dangerous than distracted or fatigued driving, according to the study. Other studies have linked anger while driving to speeding and have found a correlation between anger and slow speeds as well as sharp braking.
How Does Emotion Impact Truck Driver?
The studies of emotions and traffic accidents have focused on car drivers, so studies on truck drivers must be conducted. However, truck drivers have high-stress jobs and there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that stress, anger, and other emotions can impact a truck driver’s safety on the road.
Truck drivers face a few unique conditions which can cause their emotions to impact their driving. Truck drivers:
- May have interrupted sleep patterns due to changing shifts, which can impact emotions
- Have tight deadlines and may get stressed about them
- Are on the road a great deal, so they may get frustrated and angry by other drivers’ behaviors
- Spend long hours alone, so they may not be able to vent or get a network of support they meet often to diffuse anger and other strong emotions
- May spend long days and weeks away from their families and homes, which can cause frustration and upset
Truck drivers have challenging jobs, so it is possible they may experience upset, stress, and anger on the road. Unfortunately, these emotions can result in road rage accidents, speeding, distraction, driver error, and other dangerous situations which affect not just the safety of the truck driver but also the safety of everyone around him or her.
What Can be Done?
Anyone who is emotional or upset on the road can do a few things to stay safer:
- Notice when emotions arise
- Pull over and take a breather
- Return focus to the current driving
- Stop driving and wait if emotions prove too distracting
Truck drivers in Homestead and other communities in Florida and across the country can take steps to prevent upset driving. They can try to be aware of their emotions and seek support for anger or upset. They can also negotiate for hours which allow them to drive without stress. Trucking companies also have an obligation to provide better working conditions for drivers, as well as the support and training needed for drivers to drive without excessive worry or stress.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident in South Florida and are wondering whether you have a claim, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) to speak to a Homestead trucking accident attorney. Our law offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood serve the entire region and your first consultation with us is free of charge.