New study suggests bad drivers are less attractive

New study suggests bad drivers are less attractive

It’s widely publicised that bad driving is hugely detrimental to your safety, increasing the likelihood of you or those around you being involved in an accident. But did you know that bad driving can also have a negative impact on your love life?

A recent study by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) looked into what the top 10 first date turn-offs were, with nearly half of the top 10 happening in the car before the date even properly begins.

Car-related turn offs

The same study by the IAM, the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, found that the top car-related turn off on a first date is road rage, with 46% of people surveyed agreeing. Other motoring turn offs include texting whilst driving (45%), talking on a mobile whilst driving (44%) and having a dirty car (23%).

Following the survey the IAM worked on an experiment with behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings to explore this further. The study involved showing videos of good and bad driving to candidates while they were tested for their levels of attraction towards the driver, monitoring factors such as pulse rate, pupil dilation, blink rate and body language.

Gender differences

Interestingly, in this more in-depth experiment most of the negative feelings toward bad drivers came from women, with 98% of female participants being ‘turned off’ a man after seeing them drive incompetently. Only 28% of men reported disliking a driver after seeing how they behave behind the wheel.

Jo Hemmings said that this gender-based difference of opinion was evident in the way that people within the experimented reacted, saying that “it’s interesting to look at the reactions of different genders. Some male reactions to bad driving included laughter and amusement, indicating that men have a less mature emotional response to bad driving than women who instead furrowed their brows and shook their heads.”

Love driving

Overall, the experiment found that bad drivers are 50% less attractive. IAM chief executive, Sarah Sillars, told Road Safety GB: “The results from the survey piqued our interest, so we enlisted Jo and a team of scientists to put the science behind the theory.

“Bad driving not only has an impact on the safety of our roads, but can also affect your relationships. Being able to manoeuvre properly and drive carefully should be much higher up on people’s priorities.”

For more information take a look at this short video from the IAM about their ‘Love Driving’ experiment.