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Meet The Car Crash Prone Driver, According To Science

Meet The Car Crash Prone Driver, According To Science

Do you have a friend who seems to be always causing an accident? In fact, to be politically correct, we must use the term crash, as accidents are supposed to happen regardless human action, whereas crashes happen due to human error.

So back to the problem: do you have a friend who is always the victim of an accident? I do and you probably have one also. This is because there are people who seem to attract misfortune with each step they take. Until now, science was looking at them with a raised eyebrow, but recent studies proved there is a personality type prone to accidents.

The connection between personality and crashes

Your personality can provide a deep insight into your behavior, which alters the way you drive, because your personality is what makes you act in a certain way in critical situations, when you have to make vital decisions.

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When we think of a connection between personality and crashes we think of impulsive people, who speed up and text while driving. However, the studies contradict this image. While it’s true that non-conforming people are prone to breaking the driving rules, risk takers and adventure seekers are not the most prone to accidents.

This is because these people drive often and gain excitement from driving. This makes them drive more miles than others, which also makes them more experienced and skilled than people who are afraid of accidents. And this is not the only unexpected reveal of the studies, they reveal an over-cautiously, over-optimistic person is more prone to accidents than an adventurous impulsive one. There are more surprising characteristics of the accident prone person.

1. Poor time planning abilities

If you struggle to manage your time, you might be prone to accidents. This is one of the feature found to be linked with crash prone personalities by the new studies. The explanation is a simple one: people who have trouble managing their time are most likely to be sleep deprived and in a hurry. We all know that lack of sleep is a huge enemy of driving and when you pair it with the pressure to arrive on time somewhere, the risk of being involved in a car crash increases.

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By comparison, people who have good time management skills are able to plan their time and get enough sleep. Also, they are less likely to be on the rush, as they know how to avoid being late on appointments. Very optimistic people were found to often assign too little time for their trips, which means they will often be in a rush. This pressure makes them prone to crashes, according to science.

2. Blaming others

A tendency to blame others is also dangerous behind the wheel. Studies found that people who fail to take responsibility in their own behavior and prefer to blame others are more likely to be involved in a car crash. Psychologists call this characteristic external, as these individuals put the blame on external factors. By comparison, internals, who always look for the fault for an accident in their own person, are more likely to avoid crashes. They are also more likely to wear seatbelts and learn from their own mistakes.

3. Living for the present

Probably the most unexpected revealing of these studies is the connection between how you see time and how likely you are to be involved in an accident. According to science there are three basic personality types depending on the individual’s relationship with time: past, present and future oriented.

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Past oriented people dwelve in their memories and are nostalgic. They also look into their past to learn how to act in the future.

Present oriented people live for the moment and think little of the consequences of their actions. They are the most prone to indulge in dangerous behavior, such as drinking or texting while driving.

Future oriented people plan ahead their future and are very aware of the consequences of their present actions.

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Psychologists found that present oriented people are most prone to crashes, while future-oriented ones are least likely to be involved in a crash. This also infirms the well known myth that women are more prone to car accidents than men: in reality, men are more present oriented, while women are future-oriented.

If you want to know how your personality impacts your driving you can take the driving personality test.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Simona Elena

Freelance Writer, Addicted to LIFE

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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