Driving is so popular. In fact, well over half the US population has a driver’s license. However, not everyone’s a good driver and it’s a wonder that some people ever become licensed. Just recently, in 2016, the US experienced one of the deadliest years for road accidents ever and an estimated 40, 000 people died. So, which people are the least likely to be involved?

1.    Gamers… Do you like Call of Duty?

Sometimes, gamers are given flack for too much gaming. Of course, this has its merits. Consider that 35 year old Brian Vigneault, died last year during a 24-hour gaming session. He was speculated to have had a heart attack, likely because he consumed too many energy drinks to stay awake. Then in 2017, seventeen year old, Rustam, had broken his leg and spent 22 days playing non-stop video games. He died of thrombosis, which is a blood clot that occurs because of lack of motion.    

However, moderate gaming is associated with better driving. Recent studies have demonstrated that gaming, six hours a week, improves visual motor skills, which is transferable to driving.

Researchers at the New York University, in Shanghai, China found that visumotor system became especially improved from playing first-person shooter games. It’s speculated that because games require fast reaction times, all the components of the visual motor system become engaged. The prefrontal cortex is better at representing goals, the motor cortex regulates movement, and the cerebellum ensures that the motions are smooth, rather than jerky. Expert drivers, who underwent videogame training, gained superior driving ability because their visuomotor system made them better able to maneuver the car.  

2.    Sports

Sports are great for so many things and driving is one of them. Apparently, exercise increases new cell growth, which is necessary for learning, and improves driving.  Imagine that there’s a specific street that always gets clogged at the left-lane. Well, a frequent exerciser would be more likely to remember exactly where this left-turn is and then stick to the right lane, to avoid the traffic jam whereas the nonexerciser might get stuck every time. So, anyone who doesn’t exercise is might get slowed down more often and possibly frustrated, which could lead to aggressive driving.

How, exactly, sports increases cell growth isn’t fully understood. It’s speculated to occur because of increased blood flow and hormones. Exercise also reduces cortisol, which is a “stress hormone” that’s assumed to inhibit cell growth. So, even though researchers don’t fully understand the mechanisms, they know that exercise promotes new cell growth, which facilitates memory formation.

To prove this, scientists put mice into two groups, one with unlimited access to a running wheel and the other, sedentary. The mice had to learn which square on a screen to touch for a food treat. The two identical squares were initially placed very far apart on the screen and it was easy for the mice to know that the left-hand square was the correct one. However, as the squares moved closer together, it became harder for the mice to differentiate between the two. The mice in the exercise group outperformed the sedentary mice and received double the treats. Whenever, the scientists sampled the brain tissue of the mice, they found that the exercise group had developed thousands of new brain cells, which reinforced that they had learned during the experiment.

3.    Better Sleep

This one’s obvious. Sleepiness isn’t good for driving. Researchers found that whenever someone doesn’t get adequate sleep, they miss out on deep sleep. Since deep sleep is what makes people feel well-rested, a lack of it is what makes a person feel sleep-deprived. They become more likely to nod off behind the wheel.

Yet, sometimes people don’t feel sleepy, rather they feel wired. Sleep-deprivation can also cause a build up of fight-or-flight hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. So, a person can feel awake however their body perceives imminent threat, which makes them more likely to drive nervously.

4.    Being female… Kind of.

Apparently, females are less likely to get into serious road accidents. Men account for 94% of fatalities and road accidents that involve bodily harm. It’s speculated that the severity of accidents is linear with speed, so men who speed, are more to have bad accidents.

Specific brain structures and hormones may be why men are more likely to speed than females. Especially, young men, who feel pressure to prove their masculinity, may speed. So, being female isn’t essential, rather it’s the driver’s ability to go the speed of the road that decreases deathly accidents.

5.    Turning down the radio

Some spend thousands of dollars on their car’s audio system, just because driving to a good beat is fun. However, distracted drivers are the leading cause of car accidents. Listening to music while driving is distracting, since it requires attention span to listen to the lyrics and then to sing along. Drivers might also change stations or fiddle with their hand-held devices, which is another distraction. Apparently, fast-tempo music is twice as likely to cause road accidents, than any other form, probably because drivers become inspired to go faster. So, it may be a good idea to turn down the speakers and focus on the road situation from time to time.


Activities like gaming, cardio, and sleep are sure to improve driving ability. Paying attention to speed and turning down the radio can also prevent accidents. Try all five and you’re likely to become the best driver out there.