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How can a mental distraction cause an accident?

Much attention has been given to the risks of texting and driving or succumbing to any of the other myriad distractions that can lure drivers. Physical distractions are certainly a detriment on the road, but there are other distractions that can be just as dangerous — even though they are invisible. Mental distractions are a major threat to your safety and the safety to other drivers on the road.

How can your thoughts affect your driving? It might not seem like the two have a connection, but your mental state does have a major impact on your physical actions, and as such, you can find yourself struggling to drive safely when your mind is not focusing on what you are doing. The following are three examples of this.

Feeling stress

According to Mindful, stress and anxiety make it extremely difficult to concentrate. You may see this in your daily life as you try to focus on tasks but find that your mind is simply unable to do so. This same principle applies when you are on the road — you are likely to be distracted when you are overwhelmingly stressed, which may delay your reaction time. 


Stress is not the only mental distraction that can compromise your driving skills. Have you ever been in an intense conversation that consumed your focus? This can happen in the car and make you less attentive to the road in front of you. It is only natural to talk to the people in the car with you, but when the conversation becomes distracting, it could make an accident more likely.

Work and life

Who hasn’t drifted off into a deep daydream and been startled when they suddenly snap back into reality? It is easy to get lost in your own thoughts about work, life and everything else. It is important, though, to keep your mind clear and focused on the road when you are driving. Failure to do so can cause you to lose focus and become susceptible to collisions.