BTA: Dark time of the year – risk of more stress and burnout; drivers even forget where parked


With the coming of autumn, days are getting shorter and nights longer, all road traffic participants, pedestrians and drivers alike, should pay extra attention to safety on road to avoid potential accidents or crashes, reminds BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (BTA).


“The number of inattentiveness and tiredness related accidents keeps rising, people become less focused, sometimes attributable to stress and burnout, therefore one should be critical when evaluating own capabilities and avoid sitting behind the wheel when exhausted,” advises BTA Baltic Insurance Risk Underwriting Department Director Ivo Danče.

According to information at BTA’s disposal, there have even been situations, when a driver, due to hurry and stress, has forgotten, where he had parked his car; notified the police as well as the insurer about the car theft, and later has come to realize that the car has simply been parked elsewhere. 


“Darkness blunts the sense of perception in humans. Especially, when this is against the background of being tired or worried, all sensory organs become yet less acute and perception deteriorates,” explains Solvita Vektere, psychotherapist.

According to her, it is considerably different, whether a person moves along a road in light conditions, or at twilight and dark.

“Light activates you, you spot details easier, while in light, whereas it is a lot harder to keep yourself focused in terms of vision and hearing while in dark. It particularly matters, when a person suffers from the burnout syndrome, chronical tiredness or stress,” believes the expert.

She emphasised – there might be cases, when the person is so exhausted, angry or stressed out, that it is better to avoid taking a seat behind the wheel at all and wait for at least a while.

That also applies to pedestrians as well, psyche and emotions can affect the physical senses, said Vektere, advising everyone to be more careful on road in the dark period of the year.


Psychologist Indra Majore-Dūšele also points to the fact that the chances of losing focus on road increase in autumn and winter, as tiredness, exhaustion and stress are joined by yet another catalyst factor – darkness. “Driver has to be alert to be able to process the information on road,” says the specialist.

She also advises against sitting behind the wheel when very tired or stressed, as it puts the safety of the driver and other road users at risk.

Besides, drivers should strictly stay within the limits of the permitted driving speed, be critical when assessing the situation on the road and the weather conditions, in order to avoid unpleasant situations or crashes, added Vektere.


Advice to drivers for the dark seasons

First, make sure your car’s headlights are clean, to ensure the light conditions are as good as possible while driving.

Second, try to avoid driving large distances without stopping to rest. When you feel getting tired, we suggest you stop, getting out of the car to stretch your legs.

Third, better time management helps to reduce stress. Try to make room for some planning the night before – prioritize your to do list for tomorrow, thus you will keep out inessential obstacles from causing you stress. Whenever possible, suddenly received tasks are better scheduled for the following day at soonest, unless it is an emergency. Also, planning will help to choose the best route for your daily logistics in a timely manner, taking into account the traffic and other conditions.


About BTA

BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with close to 200 years of experience in the insurance business. With about 50 companies in 25 countries and more than 25,000 employees, Vienna Insurance Group is a clear market leader in its CEE markets. Vienna Insurance Group is the best-rated company of ATX, the leading index of Vienna Stock Exchange with a rating of A+ with stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s; its share is also listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.


Additional information:

Elīna Rasmane

Marketing and Public Relations Department Director

BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS


phone: +371 66936074, mobile: +371 29374827