8 unexpected factors that keep you from becoming a good driver

Even if you passed your driving test on the fly and never speak on the phone while driving, there are many other, completely unexpected factors that determine how dangerous your road participation will be.

1. Singing

Music for the driver is a very important thing. Almost every car has at least a radio. However, listening to music is far from the last reason accidents happen. People listening to the radio are more often distracted from what is happening on the road.

Even the genre of a piece of music plays a role: fast compositions, like techno, double the risk of not noticing a red traffic light, for example. But the biggest risk associated with music is when you hum your favorite tune. Even if you know the song by heart, your brain is still busy remembering music and words. The load on the gray matter increases and your reaction to a hazardous situation will not be as quick.

2. Colds

The dependence of the quality of driving on the physical well-being of the driver is obvious. If you don't get enough sleep, if you are suffering from chronic pain or a serious illness, your reaction will naturally be slowed down. However, it turns out that even a small cold is enough for the danger on the road to increase significantly.

Participants in one of the scientific studies were tested on a driving simulator. It found that people with minor colds are much more easily distracted while driving, react more slowly to unexpected situations, and find it more difficult to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.

3. Driving along the same route

Overconfidence is one of the biggest dangers on the road. When you do the same tasks many times, your brain stops straining and following the road, that is, you drive almost on "autopilot". Therefore, if something unexpected occurs on your way (a child runs out or a dog barks), you are more likely to do something stupid and get into an accident.

4. Billboards

The task of roadside advertising is to get your attention by all means. Without realizing it, you increase or decrease the speed depending on how it makes you feel. One study found that advertisements related to money, fame, or sex prompted the driver to step on the gas. If the advertisement evokes negative emotions, contains reminders of war, cruelty, prisons, then drivers tend to slow down.

5. Zodiac sign

Insurance companies do not take into account the sign under which you were born when they decide to pay insurance and, apparently, in vain. During one study, it was found that Libra gets into accidents more often than other signs. Aries and Aries follow them. However, Pisces is most often fined. The Gemini turned out to be the most virtuoso drivers - the least of all accidents and fines.

6. Road signs

When a large part of the road signs were removed from the roads of a small Dutch town, the number of accidents dropped sharply. It sounds like a paradox, but that's how it was. Apparently, when the driver is surrounded by signs telling him where to go, he pays less attention to what is happening on the road itself. In addition, signs make us feel safer, which creates dangerous complacency. And if there are not so many signs, we concentrate more on what we are doing and the likelihood of a collision with another car decreases.

7. Children in the car

In March, a team of Australian researchers published their findings that the most distracting factor while driving is the presence of small children in the car (12 times more distracting than talking on a cell phone). For a 16-minute ride, parents are distracted from the road by an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds. Many people turn their rearview mirrors so that they can see their offspring, and not the road.

8. Dreaminess

If you are driving alone on a deserted road where there are no ads, you are not talking on your mobile or listening to the radio, you still have a chance to crash into something. This is because you cannot turn off the brain, which absolutely needs to keep itself busy. Researchers interviewed 65, 000 road traffic perpetrators and were surprised at how many people said they were just daydreaming. Even if you do your best to direct 100 percent of your attention to the road, it is likely that sooner or later your thoughts will "float away" unnoticed by you. It is possible that you will wake up somewhere on the sidelines and do not even remember how you got there.