Stressed Out in Nevada? How Stress Affects Car Accidents

Even though we are no longer in COVID-19-related lockdowns, the entire world dealt with two years of the pandemic and resulting social restrictions. Not surprisingly, the pandemic caused several additional stressors for everyone—including Nevadans. According to a recent survey, Nevada is ranked the number one stressed-out state in the nation in 2021. New Orleans and New Mexico followed closely behind. The study revealed that the least stressed-out states included Minnesota, South Dakota, and Utah. According to the results, Nevada had the highest rate of divorce, the second highest rate of job insecurity, and the ninth-highest rate of crime per capita in the United States. Everyday stressors have an impact on our behavior and day-to-day life, including the manner in which we drive when we get behind the wheel. 

Driving and Stress

Driving while under stress can have a negative impact on our behaviors, at a much higher rate than we realize. In fact, stress literally impacts our bodies.  Research shows that individuals who drive 10 miles or more on a day-to-day basis are at a higher risk of increased blood sugar levels and blood pressure in addition to having a higher rate of anxiety and depression. Individuals with longer commutes have a higher risk of increased blood pressure than those with shorter ones. Moreover, there is a higher chance of road rage and reckless driving when someone is stressed out behind the wheel. This is because people have less patience when stressed out, and can result in aggression during construction work zones or heavy traffic. Stressed-out motorists are often distracted drivers and not totally focused on the roadway. Additionally, stressed drivers do not make the best decisions while behind the wheel and, in turn, stress out other drivers sharing the road. The result is that everyone is at a higher risk of getting into a car accident when drivers are stressed.

Dangers of Road Rage

As discussed, stressed-out drivers are at a higher risk of road rage. 66% of deadly car accidents are due to aggressive driving and 37% of road rage incidents included the use of a firearm. Teen males are the most likely group to exhibit road rage, though anyone can lose control of their temper and engage in this type of aggressive behavior. Below are some factors that can help you determine whether or not you are an aggressive driver:

  • Consistently driving over the speed limit;
  • Rushing through yellow lights;
  • Signaling slow drivers in front of you by tailgating or flashing lights;
  • Using your horn more than once every time you are out;
  • Shout, use obscene gestures, or communicate angrily with other drivers.

If any of the above behaviors sound familiar to you, then you are at a higher risk of road rage. While it is natural to react in an irrational way while under stress, you should be aware of your actions. If you are the victim of road rage, on the other hand, be sure not to react toward or retaliate against the aggressor. This can escalate the situation and make it more dangerous for everyone. If you feel threatened, you should pull over to a safe and public area and dial 9-1-1. Remain in your car until authorities arrive. 

Nevada Car Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you know is the victim of road rage and was put in an aggressive situation that resulted in a car accident, contact the lawyers at H&P Law. Road rage can be a scary situation and you do not have to try to navigate the legal system on your own if you were hurt and/or your property was damaged. Contact us today to learn about your rights and how we can fight for you.

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