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Working is simply a part of life in the United States and around the world. Many of us do not relish the idea of getting up in the morning and going to work. Many of us do not look forward to the rigors of the day. Even if we enjoy our jobs, as many of us do, there are still sources of stress that nearly everyone experiences. While work-related stress is common, its effects may not be well known by many people. A recent study may have identified another potential piece of fallout from work-related stress: an increased car accident risk. Anecdotally, the idea makes sense in that we tend to focus on things other than our driving environments when we are preoccupied with issues at our jobs. This is true whether we are driving to work or home after the day is over.
Researchers from the University of Haifa completed the study, and it appeared in a recent issue of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. Those interested in reviewing the abstract can find it here. Researchers collected data from 216 different manufacturing plant workers. These workers provided feedback for several different questions involving their enjoyment of work and their driving tactics. They provided this feedback at two different points so the consistency of their responses could be measured.
The researchers uncovered the following findings:
Those who reported experiencing either of these two forms of work-related stress also admitted that they tended to drive in a risky manner at times other than during their commutes to and from work. In effect, the stress they were experiencing normalized or rationalized the risks they were taking behind the wheel even though they knew that they were inviting danger. The researchers went on to discuss whether or not employers working with employees on safe commuting could have a positive impact on everyone’s car accident risk.
Even though the study focused on workers outside of the United States, the findings from the research seem universal. If people dislike their jobs for whatever reason, they tend to focus on those problems while driving and not on the road. If this is a universal finding, then one needs to consider some related statistics.
According to Statista.com, 123.61 million adults were employed full-time in the United States in February of 2017. Pew Research conducted a survey in 2016 that looked deeply into the relative levels of job satisfaction Americans were experiencing at the time. The survey led to the following results:
The numbers from Pew Research serve as one source of data, but the Conference Board completed a survey in 2014 that revealed that 52.3 percent of Americans were unhappy at work. If we split the difference between the two data points, the result is that more than 41 million people in the United States are at least somewhat unhappy with their job situations. That means that every day, tens of millions of people in the United States are driving to and from work who are unhappy.
Even people who genuinely enjoy their jobs are going to have bad days from time to time. Anyone who is not in the proper mindset for driving is likely going to increase the car accident risk for him or herself and for anyone nearby. Mental state has a lot to do with the quality of our driving. As such, below you’ll find some ideas to consider that may help you put yourself in the right frame of mind to arrive at your destination safely:
Above all else, do what needs to be done so that you don’t drive aggressively, as this is dangerous. We have discussed this very problem recently. If you are injured in a crash that was caused by a distracted driver, you also need to take steps to make sure that your legal rights are properly protected and enforced. Contact the San Diego car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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