Dr. Hauke was recently interviewed by I Drive Safely, a leader in online driving education on how to keep cool during a road emergency.
However, the way a person reacts to an emergency situation can be just as dangerous. Something as simple as drifting out of your own lane can lead to overcorrecting, which can cause you to hit another car or flip your car. For many people, the default reaction in a driving emergency is fueled by anxiety or panic, such as slamming on the brakes or overcorrecting.
According to Dr. Farrah Hauke, a licensed psychologist in Scottsdale, AZ, there is a scientific reason for these reactions.
“When exposed to a perceived threat, such as a car erratically swerving in front of us while we are driving, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode,” she explains. “This stress reaction happens naturally and automatically as part of our sympathetic nervous system. During such an event, our bodies react in ways that are conducive to either fighting or running away.”
These physiological reactions may include tightening of the muscles, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate. It is the body’s way of preparing to handle the situation in the way that is most likely to preserve life.
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