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Are Happy Drivers Better Drivers? The Impact of Emotion, Life Stress and Mental Health Issues on Driving Performance and Safety

Cunningham, M, Regan, M

Fatigue & Stress

ARSC conference 2017

While observable distractions have been studied extensively (e.g. due to mobile phone use), less obvious sources of distraction, such as that derived from being emotionally aroused, have not. The overarching purpose of this article is to review relevant literature and analyse how emotions may impact on driving behaviour. This manuscript discerns three potential impacts: (a) how elicited emotions may impact on driving performance; (b) the experience of stressful life events (e.g. financial issues)and their impact on driving safety; and (c) mental health issues, such as anxiety, may impair driving performance and safety. The implications of these findings are discussed.