Distracted Driving Leads to Stress, Studies Show

You're Stressed - Are You Aware? 

November 4 is National Stress Awareness Day. While stress serves a biological purpose, doctors and scientists agree that high levels of stress can significantly contribute to chronic health problems, disease, and even early death.

This day was established to raise awareness and educate the American public on the growing problem of stress in their lives.

2016 seems to be a particularly stressful year, and we can't blame it all on the World Series. The presidential election has been particularly contentious, with 52% of American adults admitting that the election is a significant source of stress.

But we want to draw your attention to another source of stress - one that's far more subtle, just as dangerous, and not likely to end on Election Day: distracted driving.

Stress and Distracted Driving 

You already know that texting and driving significantly impairs your driving abilities, but it turns out that distractions do more than take your eyes off the road. When you engage in another activity while driving, your body begins to show signs of stress: increased heart rate and perspiration. These findings come from researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute who have been studying the topic using a driving simulator.

What Qualifies as a Distraction?

The impact doesn't just come from texting or talking on the phone, the researchers note. Technology-related distractions tend to get the most negative attention, but distractions can also come in the form of refereeing a fight with your children in the backseat, talking to someone in the passenger seat, or getting upset at another driver on the road. Bottom line? Your body does not like it when you try to multi-task. 

If you've been looking for a good reason to focus exclusively on the road, you've found (another) one.