According to a recently published study, some people are genetically predisposed to be worse drivers and probably more likely to be involved in car accidents. According to research performed by a neurology processor at the University of California, Irvine, a particular gene combination may make as many as 30 percent of all drivers worse than the rest.
The allele (gene variation) limits the availability of a protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF. This protein is essential to optimal brain function, and it is secreted in particular brain areas to help the brain respond to the task at hand. In earlier studies, it was shown that BDNF affected the amount of brain a person could dedicate to any given task and how well a person recovered from a stroke, but this is the first time the BDNF allele was linked to performance ability of a complex task like driving.
Car driving was chosen because it was a common but complicated task. Drivers were tested to determine who had the gene and who did not and were asked to drive 15 times on a simulator of a difficult track. The test was performed again four days later. When the results were compared, drivers with the BDNF-reducing allele were consistently worse at staying on the track by about 20 percent.
At this point, blood tests or other genetic tests are not a routine part of getting a car insurance policy or determining who is at fault during a car accident. It has not yet been shown, either, that a reduced driving ability is not compensated for by other behaviors like defensive driving, making these drivers no more likely to be involved in a car accident than others.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident in Columbus, Ohio by a negligent or poor driver, the personal injury lawyers at Robert W. Kerpsack, L.P.A. can help. Please contact us today to learn about our free initial consultations.