Feeling upset? Study says don’t get behind the wheel

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If you drive when you’re sad or mad, you have a greater chance of crashing than if you’re tired, according to a new study.

Drivers who are emotionally upset increase their risk of crashing by nearly 10 times, researchers from Virginia Tech found. In contrast, driving while fatigued makes a crash three times more likely while talking on a cell phone only doubles the risk, the study found.

Researchers discovered all drivers were engaged in some type of distracting activity more than half of their time on the road.

“These findings are important because we see a younger population of drivers, particularly teens, who are more prone to engaging in distracting activities while driving,” lead study author Tom Dingus said. “Our analysis shows that, if we take no steps in the near future to limit the number of distracting activities in a vehicle, those who represent the next generation of drivers will only continue to be at greater risk of a crash.”

The biggest risk factor of a crash was consuming alcoholic drinks or drugs. That behavior raised the chance of having an accident more than 35 times, the study found.

Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute recently published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

See how all the driving distractions rank at The Telegraph.