• Nov 4, 2009
Well, this explains everything. Scientists scientifically studied the brains of 29 people. Of those, 22 had normal brains while the other seven had a genetic variant that stops their brain from secreting something called a neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Without the BDNF, new memories aren't formed properly. And people with this gene variant also can't drive.

Those 29 people were placed in cars on a closed-circuit course with lots of difficult turns. Then they repeated the test four days later. Results? Not only did the gene variant-brained people do worse on the first day of testing, they did worse on the second day, too.

And now the kicker – 30% of Americans have this genetic variant. Said the scientist in charge, "I'd be curious to know the genetics of people who get into car crashes. I wonder if the accident rate is higher for drivers with the variant." As it stands now, there is no commercially available test to check for this variant. In other words, be careful out there.

[Source: CNN | Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images]


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  • 35 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      But isn't the world like 52% women so someone's math is messed up!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Something else for insurance companies to charge you extra for.

      "there is a large population of genetically predisposed bad drivers in your area, so we're raising your rates 15%"
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually the correct way to do it would be to charge those 30% higher premiums because they are genetically predisposed to be bad drivers.

        Kind of like how young men are charged higher premiums. It's only fair after all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        JZeke,

        Are you saying insurance companies shouldn't price their policies based on genetic code? For some people, you can tell with 100% certainty that they will develop colon cancer. Surely an insurance company should be allowed to price policies based on pertinent data? Or would you rather everyone pays the same rate regardless of anything? An old person who's chain-smoked for the past half century should pay the same insurance as a healthy young person who exercises daily, right?

        I'd say this is in the same vein as pre-existing conditions. If you're a candidate for a quadruple bypass, good luck getting insurance. If you're going to get cancer and the insurance companies know that, the price of your policy should reflect on that fact that you'll most definetly be getting the butt cancer, no?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Could end up being way worse. Consider the movie Gattaca for a moment.

        With genetic marker testing increasingly in popularity, and some rumblings of genetic testing being included into a healthcare bill (or regulated against in one) its not science fiction at all to think we're only a few years away from getting higher rates based on our genetic code.

        How much would THAT suck?

        This would lead to that 30% with the crappy rates demanding automated cars - since they are likely to be the only option for those who've already been ruled against because of genetics.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OK, that's 30%, but what's the excuse for the other 69%?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how many of the 30% are women?

      Just kidding - don't get all upset
      • 5 Years Ago
      "That's hot".
      • 5 Years Ago
      Funny so many people said the 30% should have their license revoked,
      Just wondering what if you "supposed" good driver were tested with the gene?
      That would be such an irony...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Driving probably isn't the only thing they're worse at. This really explains a lot.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sample size seems too small.
      • 5 Years Ago
      nathan,

      you took the words straight out of my mouth. well said.
      • 5 Years Ago
      30%? I can't believe it isn't higher. As much as I hate giving the government more power, we need stricter tests and requirements for all new drivers. It is amazing how unaware drivers are becoming.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems like they have found the reason some people don't learn as easily. I don't claim to be the best at anything, but I rarely make the same mistake twice. It's frustrating for me to watch people make the same mistake over and over again while I am trying to teach them something.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And 100% of us think that everyone else falls into that 30%.
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