Car Crash Warning for Scottish Football Fans

Warning over “emotional” driving for Scots football fans

With just a few weeks left of the football season, it’s a tense time to be a fan. With promotions, relegations and play-off positions at stake, emotions are running high. And with those emotions in mind, supporters are being urged to take caution when driving home after matches.

Graham Conway, Managing Director at Select Car Leasing, has warned driving while ‘highly emotional’ can increase your crash risk tenfold.

He said:

“As football fans, we can all let our emotions get the better of us. But there have been many scientific studies examining the impact of negative emotions on our driving behaviours, and they all say the same thing – if you get behind the wheel while visibly sad, angry or agitated, you become a risk to yourself and other road users.”

Drivers increase their crash risk by 9.8 times when they get behind the wheel while ’emotionally agitated’ according to a study in 2016 by the Transportation Institute at Virginia Tech University in the US. More than 3,500 motorists were monitored and more than 900 ‘higher severity’ crashes, involving injury or property damage, were recorded. The ’emotional drivers’, defined as being ‘angry’ or ‘upset’, were found to be 9.8 times more likely to crash than ‘model drivers’ and around 5 times as likely to crash as those using their mobile phones at the wheel.

The winners must act with caution too. A study in China in 2020 found being especially ‘happy’ behind the wheel could be just as dangerous as being ‘angry’. A group of 35 motorists were studied this time, monitoring ‘driving performance and risk perception’ after an exercise to provoke different emotions. The report warned: “The results showed that the drivers in an angry or happy emotional state tended to maintain less time to collision and take a longer time to brake while following a lead vehicle than the drivers under the neutral condition, suggesting that drivers in emotional states are more dangerous than those in neutral states.”

John Dillion, Head of Dispute Resolution at Watermans, added:

“The figures from the studies are alarming and demonstrate the clear need for drivers to regain emotional composure, especially when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after a match. As we reach the climax of the domestic football season and with the European Championships just around the corner it is a time when many fan’s emotions will be running high. High running emotions pose a risk to the safety of the driver and other road users around them.”

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