Drivers! Calm down, but not too much

  • Study shows stress increases risk
  • So can being too relaxed, however
  • Why stress is bad for you
Stress can make you drive faster and slow your reactions, according to a new study by the Transport Research Laboratory.

Commissioned by insurer Direct Line, the TRL study found that stressed drivers drive on average 3mph faster than calm drivers, but react 4% more slowly to conditions on the road. The combination of the two make a stressed driver's stopping distances considerably longer.

TRL researcher Dr Nick Reed said: 'A driver's emotional state plays an important role in the ability to drive safely.'

The same study, however, found that relaxed drivers take 10% longer to react, although they don't pose as great a risk as stressed drivers because they also leave more space from the car in front and drive more slowly.

Find out more
Our own investigation into stress followed two drivers through their day and monitored their heart rates to see how their driving and health could be affected.

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