An indicator of how our day is going to go could be, for example, the mood we are in when we wake up. If we are full of energy, our day will tend to be positive because our good disposition will help us make good decisions and resolve problems successfully. On the other hand, if we wake up feeling listless, there is a good chance that things will not turn around.

The truth is that our mood greatly influences the way we handle ourselves at work, at home and in our social life. The same goes for driving. We do not behave in the same way while driving if we feel nervous, stressed or tired as we would when feeling calm, relaxed and in a good mood.

The consequences of getting behind the wheel when we are physically or emotionally tired, stressed or angry are myriad: they can cause tunnel vision, which prevents us from realizing what is happening around our car. Reaction times are slower, affecting precision and driving skills that require quick reflexes. It does not allow us to predict risky situations well and can lead us to make more reckless decisions or drive at excessive speeds. And they will make us feel more anger and road rage, two of the most dangerous emotions when driving a vehicle.



We may not have slept well the night before, or we may have had a very intense day at work… There are many things that can make us tired. Physical exhaustion causes our attention to lag, so that we need more reaction time, which can end up causing an accident.


Anger greatly affects the way we drive as it makes us aggressive. And that does not necessarily mean that we come to blows at the slightest provocation, although it can also lead to that. An aggressive driver usually does not respect the safety distance, changes lanes abruptly, drives faster than the permitted speed, continually honks the horn to show his irritability, and any traffic mishap unnerves him.

Fear, depression, and anxiety

A little fear when driving makes us more cautious. The problem arises when fear becomes unmanageable, because it can paralyze us in the event of an incident on the road, stopping us from reacting.

Likewise, anxiety and depression seriously affect driving, since they cause us to interpret the information that comes to us through our senses differently. And they can make us distracted behind the wheel, as our minds are focused on our problems and not on the road.


But perhaps the most common and most dangerous emotion is stress. Again, it depends on the degree to which it manifests. A little stress is good because it makes us more alert to possible dangers. But when levels skyrocket or continue over time, problems arise.

Stress develops in three phases: the alarm reaction, the resistance reaction, and the exhaustion reaction. In the first, if the energy that is activated in our body becomes uncontrolled, we can behave in a more competitive and hostile manner while driving; it can make us more impulsive and impatient, which leads us to increase speed and make mistakes; it can also cause us to be more reckless and reckless, lowering our perception of risk, and leading us to feel less respect for traffic rules.

In the second phase, that of resistance, the level of all the previous reactions will increase and can make us have a lower tolerance for frustration, so that any small setback on the road or in traffic is extra distressing.

And in the third, exhaustion, what will be most seriously affected is our performance. The decisions we make will be slower and we will make more mistakes; it will be difficult for us to keep our attention on the road; we will experience fatigue and strong mood disturbances that could lead us to behave in an aggressive, hostile, and impulsive manner. It may also make us more reckless behind the wheel because we can tolerate a higher level of risk and we may show less respect for traffic rules.

Therefore, we must be very aware of our state of mind when we get into a car. Intense emotions, as we have seen, influence our attitude behind the wheel and our way of solving the problems that may arise on the road. It is advisable to try to take measures that help us calm down (rest well, do not eat heavy meals before starting the trip to avoid drowsiness, plan trips, use relaxation techniques, keep the vehicle in good condition to avoid unexpected issues and tension, take care of our physical and emotional health…) to be able to focus on the only important thing behind the wheel: reaching our destination safely and without setbacks.

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