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Are you better than the average driver?

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How do you rate your driving ability? Would it surprise you to read that 80% of drivers think that they are better than average?

According to research by Applied Cognitive Psychologist Dr Gemma Briggs most drivers tend to be overconfident in their abilities and consider themselves to be better than the average driver. But, if everyone thinks that ‘other’ drivers are the problem, where does the solution lie? How do you measure what ‘good’ driving looks like? For many drivers it tends to be a statement along the lines of ‘I’ve not crashed, yet.’

Dr Briggs’ quoting from her research says: “Distracted drivers are often unaware of how unaware they are: in the absence of a crash, they think their phone use doesn’t affect their driving, but the reality is very different.”

Whilst many rate mobile phone usage by other drivers as a top safety concern, a growing number of drivers admit to using their phones behind the wheel. Is it possible to drive safely whilst using your phone – even if it is hands free?

Put your abilities to the test with ‘The Mobile Office Challenge’, a new 10-minute interactive based on research by Dr Gemma Briggs. In it, you will play the role of a Wedding Planner, driving whilst having a conversation with two clients. They are bubbly and excited, full of thoughts and questions and your role is to consider and retain all the information, whilst continuing to drive safely.

See how you get on with responding to hazards on the road whilst fielding queries from your clients; the results might surprise you!

Find out more about Psychology research at The Open University.

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