For most people, driving is an absolute necessity. Without it, they couldn't go to work or buy food and the other necessities of life. While these are compelling reasons for driving, they aren't good enough when you aren't in the right frame of mind. Getting behind the wheel when you shouldn't is a bad decision that may lead to a serious accident. Avoid driving when the following situations apply to you.
When You Feel Sleepy or Exhausted
The judgment and reaction times of the sleepy motorist are often as poor as those of the intoxicated driver. The drowsy driver has such a poor awareness of the road, that accidents involving these people often show no signs of accident evasion maneuvers. Police at the scenes of these accidents typically find few skid marks from hard braking or swerving.
The danger starts well before your eyelids close. Parts of the sleep deprived brain shut down even when the eyes are open and the hands are still making steering movements. People in this state of mind find that one moment they seem to be driving okay, and the next they find themselves on the shoulder or heading into stopped traffic.
When You’ve Had Too Much to Drink
Alcohol obviously reduces the driver's judgment, reaction time and road awareness. These combine to increase the risk of having an accident. Even if it feels as though you can control the car, this feeling is an illusion. If a road emergency occurs, you may not react correctly or quickly enough to avoid it. How many drinks can you have and still drive safely? The answer is none. The legal blood alcohol limit is just a legal dividing line. Even blood alcohol levels below the limit can increase the risk of getting into a car accident.
When You’re Emotionally Upset
Feeling distraught, rattled or angry is a form of distraction that is every bit as dangerous as texting or cell phone usage. Driving requires judgment, thinking and decision-making, all of which require a calm rational state of mind. Strong emotions short-circuit the higher brain functions. Frustration and anger can make the driver overreact to road incidents, which leads to road rage. If you've had a very bad day, were involved in a bad argument, experienced a personal tragedy or had some other bad experience, stay out of your car until you are feeling calmer or ask a friend for a ride.
Driving is inherently dangerous. Regardless of how long you've been driving, the danger will always be there. Your ability to know your mind and when it is unsafe for you to drive will potentially save lives someday, including your own.
Ensure your protection behind the wheel. Call Knight-Dik Insurance Agency at (508) 753-6353 for more information on Worcester auto insurance.