Study: Making roads safer has led to bored, risk-taking drivers

A new study from researchers in Australia may have dug up one of the reasons why drivers exceed the speed limit on their way to work. According to the Toronto Sun, a new study has found that drivers who are bored behind the wheel are more likely to put the right pedal to the floor. Researchers at Newcastle University asked drivers to answer a few questions about their driving habits and found that 31 percent of those behind the wheel are inattentive and dangerous. More surprisingly, 35 percent of those polled were classified as enthusiastic and attentive. These are the motorists that enjoy driving, but go faster when their stimulus levels decrease. The study also found that 21 percent of those polled dislike driving and move slower, while members of the smallest group, just 13 percent of the total respondents, were branded slow and safe.

Interestingly, researchers concluded that the influx of devices designed to make driving easier has led to the impression that operating a vehicle is akin to a chore. Rather than making drivers safer, the gadgets have actually led to increased inattentiveness. Basically, the perception of safety has increased the likelihood of risk taking.

Sounds like it's high time that vehicles made drivers fear for their lives once again. In all seriousness, the researchers have apparently recommended adding more turns to roads and incorporating shared space to force drivers to pay attention, among other actions.

[Source: The Toronto Sun | Image: Alexander F. Yuan/AP]

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