Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deadly driving habits: Study on the effect of routine in driving

Date:
February 19, 2010
Source:
University of Cologne - Universitaet zu Koeln
Summary:
In a new study, researchers in Germany examined why drivers make fatal errors on familiar routes. When the test persons became familiar with the routes, the activity of their brains became less; this was the case for both the experienced and inexperienced drivers.

In a new study, the Cologne physicist Professor Dr. André Bresges has examined why drivers make fatal errors on familiar routes. Prof. Bresges worked on the study with Prof. Dr. Elke Gizewski from the Universitätsklinikum Essen (University Hospital Essen) and the Fachbereich Polizei der Fachhochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung NRW (the Police Academy of the NRW School of Government). They examined a test group consisting of 16 experienced and 16 less experienced drivers.

Using a driving stimulator that was specifically developed for the study, the test persons first watched a stimulation of a vehicle driving along a course with bends and obstacles over and over again for six minutes. In a different room, the test persons then drove along the virtual course until they became as familiar with it as they are with their daily drive to work.

Following this the test persons were asked to steer the vehicle using a joystick and to observe the course while scientists monitored their brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). When certain areas of the brain are activated, the energy requirement of the active nerve cells, and therefore the vascular activity of the brain area, changes. FMRI measures the changes in vascular activity in the brain producing cross-section images.

The findings of the study show that the brain is more active and reacts more along unfamiliar routes. When the test persons became familiar with the routes, the activity of their brains became less; this was the case for both the experienced and inexperienced drivers. This means that drivers drive on familiar routes without consciously orientating themselves.

The Police in North Rhine-Westphalia are currently examining whether the data form the study can be applied to road safety measurements while the findings have already been implemented into police training courses for road safety advice. It must be made clear to drivers that there are also risks involved with taking familiar and seemingly harmless routes. The risks groups, i.e. young professionals, especially bakers, are to be specifically targeted.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cologne - Universitaet zu Koeln. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cologne - Universitaet zu Koeln. "Deadly driving habits: Study on the effect of routine in driving." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218092800.htm>.
University of Cologne - Universitaet zu Koeln. (2010, February 19). Deadly driving habits: Study on the effect of routine in driving. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218092800.htm
University of Cologne - Universitaet zu Koeln. "Deadly driving habits: Study on the effect of routine in driving." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218092800.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins