According To Science, Some People Will Always Be Bad Drivers

On some level, we always believed it, but according to a 2009 study, science confirms that some people will always be bad drivers.

While most people that begin driving in their teens start out sluggish, time and practice help them hone and sharpen their skills. But research funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests that there are individuals born with a certain gene that prevents their driving skills from progressing as much as everyone else. If the results of this study can be applied to a much larger scale, it is estimated that 30% of Americans would possess this “bad driver” gene.

How Did The Study Research Discover Those With The “Bad Driver” Gene?

This study consisted of 29 people. 22 did not possess the “bad driver” gene, while seven did. The researchers had the participants drive 15 laps on a simulator where they needed to detect and correctly maneuver themselves through difficult curves and turns. The participants’ results were then recorded, and they would return and repeat the same simulator four days later.

According to the second round on the simulator, individuals with the “bad driver” gene displayed 20% worse results when compared to those without the gene.

What Is The “Bad Driver” Gene?

The specific “bad driver” gene being studied limits the availability of a protein known as “brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)” during brain activity. This protein helps support an individual’s memory by promoting communication among different parts of the brain. In an activity such as driving that requires multitasking and heightened awareness, BDNF is produced to enhance a driver’s confidence and performance behind the wheel.

Those with limited access to BDNF displayed more errors in the simulator right from the beginning and continued to make the same mistakes over and over again.

However, studies surrounding this gene also claim that individuals with this gene are able to hold their mental sharpness longer than those that do not when experiencing symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and multiple sclerosis.

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