Does your job stress you out? If it does, you might be dealing with physical issues and emotional concerns, but a new study says you might also be facing higher risk of being injured in a car crash, too. Commuting has become a way of life for many Americans, most of whom prefer to live in other areas or simply can’t live too close to their workplace. Stress at work can carry a high cost like weight gain, difficulty sleeping, and a greater risk of heart disease, according to previous research.
A new study published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology found one more negative to add to the list for work stress: a greater risk of being involved in a vehicle accident. A car crash can take a serious toll on your commute and leave you with physical injuries and trauma that make it challenging to even return to work. Coming back to work after a car accident may be even worse if your job was causing you stress to begin with.
Data shows that Americans commute just shy of 30 minutes each day on a daily basis. If your job leaves you feeling drained or frustrated, you probably carry those thoughts into your commute. Whether it’s pure distraction that puts you in harm’s way with a car crash or another driver who cuts you off, the consequences can be serious. Researchers identified that the biggest element impacting whether or not drivers took risks behind the wheel had to do with how they classified their on-the-job stress. The more someone felt as though they were struggling with work-life balance, for example, the greater the chance they were going to talk on the phone or text while driving or tailgate.
Having a bad boss was also associated with a higher car crash risk. The more an individual disliked their direct supervisor, the worse the driver became behind the wheel. Many of these drivers who engaged in distracted behavior saw nothing wrong with their behavior, meaning that they were more likely to engage in these actions whether or not they were on their way to work. Being aware of how your work stress may trickle into other areas of your life and even increase your car crash risks.