In this scenario, the body automatically chose “flight” to escape a rear-end collision.
Other amygdala functions include controlling your emotions and creating memories. So, the next time you drive on that same road where you almost crashed, the memory of the event may make you feel tense even if there are no other cars around for miles.
While it may be irrational when there’s no visible threat, this brain function helped humans survive this long. When drugs or alcohol enter the system, this can cause your amygdala to have a delayed reaction to potential threats, such as losing control of your vehicle.
All it takes is a one-second delay in reaction time can have fatal consequences. It’s not worth the risk of putting yourself and other people in danger.
In the cases where the fear is irrational, there’s another important part of the brain that -in a sense- combats fear responses with a more practical thought process.