New research has been carried to prove that people are turned off by bad driving.
IAM RoadSmart conducted a scientific experiment which showed bad driving reduces attractiveness by 50%. It also found four in five women and nearly half of men are physically turned off by bad driving.
Pulse rates increase by as much as 20% when watching bad driving, showing significant levels of stress.
Bad driving significantly reduces levels of attractiveness in potential partners, with women finding it particularly off-putting.
IAM RoadSmart teamed up with prominent behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings for the study.
Candidates were shown videos of both good and bad driving whilst being tested for their levels of attraction towards the driver using pulse rate, pupil dilation, blink rate and body language.
Attractiveness dropped from 4.8 to 2.8 in women proving the most significant reduction, with 84% of candidates reporting more negative feelings towards the driver after experiencing their incompetence on the road.
The pulse rate of 60% of female candidates increased whilst watching bad driving manoeuvres, with a 20% increase for a third indicating a significant rise in stress levels.
The aggressive and confrontational manoeuvres were found to be most unattractive to women – with road rage, illegal overtaking and tailgating topping a list of gaffes that provoke the strongest negative reactions.
In contrast, reactions in men were found to be less significant, with just over a quarter (28%) reporting a dislike for the driver after seeing them behind the wheel.
Body language indicators showed that for men, instead of stress, frustration was the overwhelming response. Candidates were found to frown, become agitated and shift position as they watched videos of parking, turning the car around or other examples of distracted or preoccupied behaviours.
Jo Hemmings said: “There is no doubt that across the board most candidates, and nearly all of the women, found bad driving to be a turn-off. However, 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.”
The experiment follows IAM RoadSmart independent research which uncovered bad driving as one of the UK’s biggest first date turn-offs. Road rage was the worst first-date faux pas for almost half (46%) of Brits, whilst a similar number say texting at the wheel leaves them wanting to end a date then and there.
A further one in 10 (11%) are irritated by someone who takes 15 minutes to park, whilst an eighth of Brits (13%) find overly cautious drivers who go under the speed limit off-putting.