It’s not just you. There really are a lot of bad drivers on the road, possibly 30 percent of Americans, but the most frequent customers at collision repair centers likely can’t help themselves, a University of California Irvine (UC) research team claims.
People with a certain DNA sequence that controls a protein affecting memory performed 20 percent worse on a driving test than those without it, UC researchers say. It’s believed that about 30 percent of Americans have the “bad-driving” gene variant, possibly proving that some people have it and some people don’t when it comes to being good drivers.
In the test of 29 people 22 without the bad-driving DNA and seven with it participants drove 15 laps on a simulator and repeated the test a week later. The researchers found that the group of seven people consistently performed worse than those without the unique gene variant.
“These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away,” lead researcher Dr. Steven Cramer said of the bad drivers.
Cramer said he would like to delve further into the genetics of those who frequently find themselves in fender-benders and other sticky situations on the road.
“I’d be curious to know the genetics of people who get into car crashes,” he said. “I wonder if the accident rate is higher for drivers with the variant.”
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