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Does Work Stress Increase Car Accident Risk?


Work-related stress has become a part of many people’s everyday life. Even the best jobs have their fair share of stress.

On our way to work, we may be thinking about the stresses we’re about to walk into. On the way home, the stress of the day can preoccupy our minds. This may cause us to be distracted. Our minds are may be elsewhere and not fully focused on the task of driving, especially when it is a route we are used to following often. Work-related stress can, therefore, cause driver distraction and lead to a serious car accident.

St Louis man stressed at work

Recent studies have concluded that people under stress are more likely to take risks when driving and to use their mobile phone to text or call others while driving. They are also more likely to pass negligently and drive aggressively.

Interestingly, people who didn’t like their immediate boss are at a greater risk of being involved in a car crash than those who like their boss. Some research shows that the effects of work-related stress on driving wasn’t just limited to driving to and from work but also had an effect on driving at other times such as at the weekend.

Some suggest that the more you dislike your job, the more likely it is that you will not drive with due care and attention.

How to reduce your risks of a car accident when you are under work-related stress

Of course, the simple answer is to have a stress free work life. However, for many people, this is near impossible. Here are some tips that are easier to incorporate into your drive to and from work:

Limit distractions – Turn your phone off on the way home. If it’s not ringing you won’t be tempted to answer it.

Try to use the journey to unwind – Keep some soothing music ready to play, breathe deeply and try to relax. Think positive thoughts. Your day at work will help your family, it can help you save up for a holiday or a meal out.

Alternate your journey route – Try to take different routes. This will keep your mind more alert.

Take it easy – If you’re really stressed at the end of the workday, take a few minutes to unwind before you leave in the car. Then take it slow on your way home. Rushing can cause car accidents. Getting home a few minutes later is much better than being involved in an accident!

Injured in an accident caused by a stressed driver?

Contact an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. to learn more about your rights. Call (314) 361-4242 today for a free consultation.

Updated: January 30, 2019