Train your brain to Drive Safer

If we better understand the brain we might drive better


25 March 2018

Imagine getting behind the wheel of a car and sitting back and relaxing. The rise of automated travel may soon be a possibility. We're working with four independent projects in the UK and liaising with the Government to make autonomous cars a realistic prospect of the future. But until driverless cars are sitting on everyone’s driveway, we ourselves have to become safer drivers.

With more cars on the road than ever before, there are more opportunities for accidents caused by human error. But what can we do to help people to be better drivers and make the roads safer?

Through the AXA Research Fund, we’re supporting scientific research that is investigating how the human brain assesses risk and danger while operating vehicles.

Man driving with woman using phone for directions

Dr Donghyun Ryu from Bangor University, is working on ways to train our brains in order to make us better and safer drivers, particularly new drivers who are significantly less likely to spot and avoid risks. He looks at the difference between experienced and new drivers and how they read and react to hazards in different ways. He has found that experienced drivers spot hazards with both their central and peripheral vision, while new drivers detect hazards with just their central vision. His goal is to help new drivers become more hazard aware and therefore safer and better drivers.

Another researcher supported by the AXA Research Fund, Professor Frederic Dehais from Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (ISAE), is looking at the way pilots react in critical scenarios in order to improve flight safety, with adapted cockpit designs and training. His research could have far reaching implications beyond aviation as the same learnings can be applied to cars and other vehicles.

See how this research might one day help us all become better drivers.

To learn more about Frederic Dehais’ approach watch our short interview.

Follow AXA Research Fund on Twitter for the latest news and research.