Around a third of drivers admit to taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel to combat boredom, according to a new study. So would it be safer to make our roads more exciting and engaging to drive on?
The research, conducted by Newcastle University, surveyed 1,563 drivers and found 31% of them fell into the category of ‘easily bored, nervous and dangerous’.
These motorists admitted to actively speeding or overtaking to seek excitement. These bored drivers are most likely to have an accident, or so says the research.
Are safer roads actually more dangerous?
As a result of the findings, Newcastle University has suggested that efforts to make roads safer could unintentionally provoke more accidents, as people looked to alleviate boredom behind the wheel.
So could more complicated roads and an increase in the number of obstacles potentially reduce accident numbers? Lead researcher Dr Joan Harvey thinks so:
‘Contrary to what you might expect when driving, hazards can actually increase our attention to the road, so this may well be the way forward for planners.’
The problem is, this will be a difficult concept for many to grasp. Should we really encourage more challenging road designs to improve driving awareness? And how much research would be required to guarantee funding for the development of these sorts of roads?
Driving almost every day, I witness examples of appalling driving. So if you asked me if I thought every driver was capable of coping with more difficult and demanding roads, my answer would be ‘no’.
There’d have to be big changes in the testing and education process of driving if this was actually going to work.