Learn to drive without distractions: Control your emotions behind the wheel
How do our emotions influence our driving?
To learn to drive efficiently, it’s important to know how to control your emotions. When you’re behind the wheel, your emotions or thoughts can make you lose concentration and change how you drive.
According to a study at the University of Granada (Spain), when drivers are in a stressful situation, their brains act the same as if they were driving comfortably. However, their actions are more erratic and dangerous, so although you may think you’re OK to drive, your actions say otherwise. The most dangerous emotions behind the wheel are happiness and sadness, so next time your fight with your boyfriend, think twice before hopping in the car to get ice cream. Thinking or worrying about different things can also influence how you drive quite a bit.
Those who conducted the study claim that if you are thinking about something else while you’re driving, your mental load increases, and the resources that should be focused on driving and road safety are instead focused on your cat ruining your favorite sweater. This is why talking on the phone while we drive is especially dangerous. Not only is our mind thinking about something else, but the conversation has the potential to change out emotions as well. If we are fighting with our mom, our brain will turn more of its attention toward the argument and away from potentially dangerous situations.
To do this study, three Honda driving simulators were used. Dangerous situations were recreated and the subjects’ responses were analyzed. Thanks to these simulators, the professionals at the University of Granada were able to analyze the behavioral indices that measure each participant’s safe and risky behaviors.
How to drive without distractions: Tips to improve concentration
We have already analyzed the risks of driving while thinking about other things or with an altered perception (if we’re emotional). When we are behind the wheel it’s important that we focus on driving, as many experts claim that focusing on one thing at a time is more productive and healthier than thinking about multiple things. If we use our brain’s resources on only one task, we’ll be able to avoid the mistakes that we make when were thinking about all of the different things we have to do. If you’re someone who gets distracted easily, it’s important that you learn how to concentrate while driving. Here are some tips to try to improve concentration.
-When you drive, turn off your phone to avoid distractions.
-Organize your daily and weekly tasks, dedicate a certain amount of time to each thing to avoid filling up your head thinking about things you need to do.
-Establish a few hours to look at e-mail and messages. This way, even though you can’t look do it in the car, you won’t be thinking about what you just read and what you can do about it.
-Delegate tasks at work and at home to keep from getting overwhelmed with responsibilities.
-Try the cognitive training program from CogniFit to help improve all of the mental abilities related to attention and concentration capacity. This program has been validated by numerous experts that guarantee that practicing our online exercises 2-3 times a week you will be able to improve your ability to concentrate.
Molly is a writer specialized in health and psychology. She is passionate about neuroscience and how the brain works, and is constantly looking for new content from interesting sources. Molly is happy to give or take advice, and is always working to educate and inspire.
This post is also available in: Spanish