Study finds that bad driving is a major turn-off

Our friends at IAM Roadsmart conducted a study that found bad drivers are far less attractive than those who are competent behind the wheel. In fact, the results showed that as many as 4 in 5 women were physically turned off by men who drive badly, and 28% of men experienced less attraction towards women who displayed poor driving skills. Almost half of people advised that they would not arrange a second date with someone who used their phone while driving, or experienced road rage.

The IAM collaborated with behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings when conducting the research, measuring levels of attraction in people as they watched videos of drivers. They monitored blink rate, pupil dilation, pulse rate and body language to identify how attracted they were to the drivers on screen.

A third of participants indicated a rise in stress levels, and 84% reported more negative feelings towards incompetent drivers. In 60% of female candidates, pulse rates increased while watching bad driving manoeuvres.

The participants were asked to score each motorist for attractiveness on a scale of 1 - 10, before they were shown a video of the motorist driving. The drivers who performed badly on the road saw their score decrease by an average of 80%.

The biggest driving turn-offs for women were:

  • Illegal overtaking
  • Road rage
  • Bad parking
  • Texting whilst driving
  • 3 point turn


Overall, the experiment found bad drivers to be 50% less attractive than motorists with good skills.

Read the full article on the IAM Roadsmart website.

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