WOMEN DRIV­ERS LESS LIKELY

TO BE DIS­TRACTED THAN MEN

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Have You Heard? -

Young male mo­torists are more at risk of be­ing dis­tracted be­hind the wheel, with older women the least likely, a study found. Driver dis­trac­tions are to blame for at least 12 per cent of all road ac­ci­dents, ac­cord­ing to sep­a­rate re­search pub­lished last year, with mo­bile phones and car ra­dios among the most com­mon. Age, gen­der and cer­tain types of per­son­al­ity can in­crease the like­li­hood of dis­trac­tion, aca­demics at Nor­way’s In­sti­tute of Trans­port Eco­nomics have now found. Re­searchers sur­veyed 1,100 high-school stu­dents and 617 adults in the first study of how driv­ers’ per­sonal traits are linked to dis­trac­tion.

“I found that young men were among the most likely to re­port dis­trac­tion,” said re­searcher Ole Jo­hans­son. “Oth­ers more prone to dis­trac­tion in­clude those who drive of­ten, and those with neu­rotic and ex­tro­verted per­son­al­i­ties.” Peo­ple who felt dis­tracted driving was more so­cially ac­cept­able or largely be­yond their con­trol were also more likely to re­port dis­tracted driving. Jo­hans­son said the find­ings sug­gest “tailored in­ter­ven­tions” should be used to re­duce driver dis­trac­tion among at-risk groups. Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have found that be­ing dis­tracted for just two sec­onds dra­mat­i­cally in­creases the risk of crash­ing.

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