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Young drivers lack brain power

world Updated: Apr 29, 2010 00:50 IST
young drivers

A new study claims to have found the reason as to why young drivers are involved in so many car crashes: underdeveloped brains.

According to Dr Lisa Wundersitz, from the Centre for Automotive Research, the underdeveloped brains make young drivers more impulsive and less able to properly assess risks.

Wundersitz said research has shown that inexperience, distractions from modern technology and a cultural tendency to “take risks” were the reason for most accidents.

“There is a biological element the prefrontal cortex of the brain is not fully developed until they are in their 20s,” she said.

“This means their long-term planning skills, reasoning and impulse skills are all lacking.

Wundersitz also blamed modern technology for the increase in young driver crashes. “You have mobile phones, GPS, iPods, entertainment screens it can be quite distracting.

“An inexperienced driver suddenly has to divide their attention between driving and these distractions.

“It’s more difficult for them than a more experienced driver, where the driving process is more automated,” she said.