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Emotions and driving - how telematics could help

Drive safely and legally with Drive Wiser - don't let emotions get the better of you behind the wheel.


You can have peace of mind that the telematics box fitted in your vehicle records all the important data which can prove useful in the event of an accident claim. And, helpfully, we will send you weekly updates about your driving - highlighting any dangerous or potentially risky behaviour. You may even be able to see how a highly emotive situation has affected your driving.

Drive Wiser - intelligent and simple telematics car insurance.

Driving when emotional

Although most drivers wouldn't get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs, or when overtired, few drivers will fully consider the dangers posed by driving in an overly emotional state - whether this is stress, anxiety, anger, depression or exhilaration. Yet, a person's ability to drive safely can be just as negatively affected by emotions as by alcohol or medications.

How to manage emotions

A typical question on the theory test involves how a driver would behave if faced with a difficult or emotional experience. For instance - A driver has just pulled out dangerously in front of you, then begins shouting at you from their car seat; do you A) carry on driving, B) scream and shout out loud, C) find a pub and have a drink, or D) stop the car safely and take time to calm down before driving on.

It sounds pretty obvious, but we're guessing some respondents may choose the wrong answer.

If you find yourself overcome by emotions before or during a car journey, however long or short, it's a really good idea to try to relax and calm down. This may mean finding a suitable, safe place to park and maybe get a soft drink or a snack to refuel and take your mind off any upsetting emotional experience.

Driving while emotional – the facts

While there is little UK-based research into this area, the U.S. Highway Safety Office says road rage accidents are the leading cause of death for children in the United States.

However shocking the above fact might be, it's not overly surprising; anyone who has ever encountered an angry motorist while driving anywhere in the world will probably have felt their heartbeat quicken and their body temperature increase.

In fact, negative, as well as positive, emotions could be potentially more distracting to drivers than either smartphone use or alcohol consumption as Harvard scholars have revealed that emotions can have a number of serious consequences on our decision making processes, including reduced risk-perception and a feeling of being "out of control".

Telematics to help keep you safe and legal

By sending you regular updates about your driving, you can see not only where you’ve driven well, but any instances when your driving was potentially risky, dangerous or illegal. The information recorded will show the date and time, speed and length of journey among other things. So, if there's a particularly dangerous incident noted in your driving data, you may be able to establish that it was, perhaps, caused by an in-car argument, road-rage or just plain feelings of euphoria which lead to carelessness.

Either way, the information gives you the chance to address any negative driving habits so that you can keep yourself, and other road users safe.

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