Does stress flick your driving switch?

07 June 2011

With new SGIC research showing that a third of SA drivers take more risks when stressed while at the wheel, the insurer is urging all drivers to stay calm and follow the road rules*.

A survey of 500 SA drivers revealed that the afternoon is when drivers feel the most frazzled and this can lead to ignoring road rules and the speed limit.

SGIC spokesperson Rob Cory said we can see from the research that stress clearly causes some of us to have a somewhat split personality while at the wheel so we want to urge all drivers to keep their cool.

“Stress can affect your concentration and losing focus for even one second, puts you at greater risk of having a collision.

“The other behaviours that many of us are guilty of when we’re tense behind the wheel are tailgating, not merging correctly and cutting other drivers off.

“We understand a lot of us lead busy lifestyles and want to squeeze in as many things as possible so we may be getting stressed rushing to our next destination, however a busy schedule shouldn’t compromise safe driving.

“We urge all SA drivers to try and avoid getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the traffic and to focus on the road when they’re at the wheel,” said Mr Cory.

SGIC recommends the following tips for drivers:

  • Consider adjusting your work hours if you can to avoid driving in peak hour;
  • Think about car pooling with other drivers to avoid driving five days a week;
  • Choose public transport if available;
  • If you’re caught in traffic remember to take a deep breath, sit back and enjoy the time – getting frustrated won’t help your safety or your stress levels.

* Based on a survey of 500 SA drivers by Pure Profile Research in May 2011.