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Tackling driver anxiety can improve safety

11 February 2011

Story from Fleet News.

While some people feel very comfortable behind the wheel and very much enjoy the driving experience, other people can feel very anxious when driving.

Research examining driving anxiety has typically examined two groups of people: those who become anxious after a specific traumatic incident such as a car crash and those who are prone to driving anxiety with no specific cause.

Researcher Dr Joanne Taylor, from Massey University in New Zealand, has found that there is actually little difference in driving behaviour and levels of driving anxiety between these two groups. There are, however, differences in driving behaviour between those who have driving anxiety and those who do not.

Taylor’s research shows that people with driving anxiety are likely to have a number of counterproductive driving behaviours, such as driving too slowly or slowing for unnecessary reasons. Additionally, anxious motorists are more likely to make driving errors.

Whilst anxiety may appear to have a negative impact on driving, it is important to remember that this is only likely to be true for people who have very high levels of anxiety already. A level of fear is necessary in all motorists – without it, behaviour can be reckless.

Read the full story at fleetnews.co.uk.

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