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Emotional Intelligence; A crucial tool for driving

Emotional intelligence is crucial when driving a vehicle. Letting yourself be dominated by a feeling can lead you to make risky decisions.

When you drive a car, motorcycle or bicycle you must be aware of your emotions, since they determine your behavior at the wheel or handlebars. If you don’t control them properly, they can lead you to dangerous actions.

If you altered the drive, your heart is pounding, your hands sweat, dry mouth you appear nervous tics and your reactions to the steering wheel and pedals are not optimal. These physiological symptoms are the product of emotions such as nervousness, anger, depression, stress and worry, as stated by Natalia Velásquez Osorio, SURA’s safe mobility consultant.

“It is important to be aware of the feelings and the preventive measures you should take while driving. An exaltation can lead you to take risks, wrong and dangerous decisions ”, explains the expert. So if you feel emotionally unstable due to a personal, sentimental, family or work issue, it is convenient that you ask yourself the following questions before driving:

Is this situation about to upset you?

If so, wait a moment and don’t drive. If you are: stop, take a deep breath, and try to calm yourself down. If necessary, save your vehicle and take another transport.

When you drive, are you able to remain calm in a pressure situation?

According to Natalia Velásquez, you need to be aware of your limits. “It is therefore important to work your emotional field and identify and manage your triggers: those factors that are not conducive to safe driving , ” he says.


Recommendations for managing emotions and avoiding accidents

• Avoid being distracted and arguing using the cell phone. Focus on the steering wheel or handlebars.

• Don’t drive if you are upset, tired, or stressed. Practice meditation exercises to reduce tension.

• Plan your travel route in advance by checking traffic, road conditions and alternate routes.

• Do not exceed the allowed speed . Drive with proper posture.

• Calmly avoid heavy traffic and avoid feeling upset by the bad behavior of other actors on the road.

• Avoid listening to loud music when you are upset as this lowers your concentration.

• Respect traffic rules and  signs.

It is important that you develop your emotional intelligence so that you can understand and control what you feel in order to make assertive decisions. Driving is not a mechanical act: it requires experience, control and responsibility.

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