A survey carried out by a research team in the US has found drivers are more likely to crash if they are upset, sad or generally out of sorts. The investigative team at Virginia Tech discovered that these emotions increase the odds of drivers having an accident by a factor of 10.
The team monitored the actions of 3,500 American motorists while they were behind the wheel. They then compared the collected data with the accident ratio to produce a final report on what were the biggest causes of accidents.
Motorists who took part in the research were involved in over 900 accidents in which people were injured or there was some property damage. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute director and report writer Dr Tom Dingus said the research confirmed what scientists have long believed.
He carried on by saying that negative moods and emotions upped the risk of accidents. He noted that actions such as talking to children in the car were actually less dangerous than previously thought and the probability of an accident was not much higher than if the driver was alone in the car.
Drivers drunk or high on drugs were 35 times more likely to crash. Other high risk issues included dialling numbers on mobile telephones and looking for something in the car. Answering or talking on mobiles only upped the accident risk ratio marginally.
In a surprise finding, the risk of driving while tired only trebled the risk of an accident. Other actions like putting makeup on or eating while driving were also revealed to have had little chance of causing accidents.