More hazards 'make safer drivers'

Making driving on roads a little more hazardous, such as by removing kerbs, could lead to more cautious and safer motorists, according to a new study.

Researchers at Newcastle University say nearly a third of drivers (31%) are easily bored while on the roads and tend to seek thrills with risky driving.

If few obstacles and challenges are available, these drivers are more likely to overtake or go over the speed limit in search of some excitement.

Younger motorists and women were among the thrill-seeking drivers, the researchers said.

They surveyed more than 1,500 people on driving habits and found 35% to be "enthusiastic" motorists who were interested in and challenged by driving so were less likely to be involved in accidents.

Just over a fifth (21%) were classed as slow motorists who did not like driving and 13% were deemed safe and slow.

Lead researcher Dr Joan Harvey said: "Contrary to what you might expect when driving, hazards can actually increase our attention to the road so this may well be the way forward for planners.

"In towns we may need to start considering some radical schemes such as removing kerbs so there are more hazards - like pedestrians - around your car. Our research suggests that this might actually improve people's driving."

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