Is stress at work putting healthcare workers at risk?

Doctor signage
Healthcare professionals are some of the most accident-prone motorists on the road, according to
"Stress can dramatically affect a person's health and cognitive functions"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Healthcare professionals have plenty to worry about – aside from the long working hours and budgetary cuts, actual life-and-death situations can present themselves on a daily basis.

And it would appear that stress in work could be to blame for health workers being some of the most accident-prone motorists on the road.

New research from has found that GPs, consultants, dentists and hospital managers made proportionately more car insurance claims than many other professions last year. And an expert on occupational health believes that this is because of pressure at work.

“It’s not surprising to see that medical professionals had the highest proportion of claims in this study,” said Professor Andrew Smith from Cardiff University’s school of psychology. “Stress can dramatically affect a person’s health and cognitive functions. If you are having a particularly stressful day, you may find that you become absent minded when it comes to day-to-day activities and find it difficult to concentrate on tasks. You might even find that you become especially clumsy at times. This is due to the effect stress can have on the brain, and while this can be serious in any context, it is an especially bad combination while behind the wheel."

Car insurance expert at, Lee Griffin, said: “Driving when stressed or angry can lead to accidents, so if you find yourself particularly frustrated, it might be a good idea to take some time to calm down before driving, or find a safe place to pull over for a while until you are in the right frame of mind to continue your journey."

Read more on how your job affects your car insurance.