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Are Extroverts the Worst Drivers?


When you talk to people about who the worst drivers are, you probably get a lot of answers based on age. Some blame teens, saying that their inexperience makes them worse drivers than adults. Others blame elderly drivers, saying that declining mental and physical abilities make them dangerous. Is there another way to break things down and really find high-risk drivers without just reverting to cliches and stereotypes about age?

There may be. In one study, researchers were looking at distracted driving risks, and they found that extroverts engaged in distracting behaviors more often than introverts. They would make more phone calls, for instance, and send more text messages.

The reason may be simple: To extroverts, it's very important to connect to people around them. It's hard for them to spend time alone. They could actively choose driving distractions because driving alone for long stretches of time -- or even short trips -- just feels too boring and confining. Their personality is one that needs the energy of connecting with other people, and so they naturally turn to that even when they know that what they're doing is risky.

If this study holds up, it may help to show why it's been so hard to get people to take distracted driving seriously and stop doing it. Even with laws, rules, studies, and government reports about the results of distracted driving, you can't get someone to change their personality. If that personality tends toward risk through distraction, they may just continue taking those risks.

Those who get injured in the accidents these drivers cause may have a right to financial compensation.

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