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All emotions can be problematic behind the wheel

It can be hard to shake your emotions when you drive. While it's best to be calm, relaxed and steady, outside forces may influence your mood and your ability on the road.

For example, you could get into an argument with your significant other right before you leave the house, and it could cloud your thinking. Instead of watching traffic, you're mulling over the argument, fixating on it. You're frustrated and, if something goes wrong, you could get disproportionately angry. If someone cuts you off, while you usually would have just stepped on the brakes and rolled your eyes, you could wind up yelling and getting into a road rage incident.

Other negative issues could include being stressed out about work and then commuting home, getting sad news -- such as a loved one's passing -- or being late for an appointment.

But it's not just the negative emotions that get you in trouble. Maybe you didn't have a stressful day at work; you were given a raise. Maybe you got good news about a family member, rather than bad news. Maybe you just turned on the radio and your favorite song came on.

All of these things can be distractions. They all make you think about something other than driving, which can lead to an accident.

If you've been hit by another driver who was feeling emotional and distracted, no matter what those emotions were, you may be entitled to financial compensation. That driver's distraction could be directly to blame for the crash, and you don't deserve to pay medical bills and cover lost wages for an accident that wasn't your fault.

Source: DMV, "How Emotions Affect Driving," accessed March 03, 2017

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