Anxious drivers more likely to take risks

Young adults who have experience of anxiety are more likely to take risks when behind the wheel of a car, new research has found. Carried out by investigators at Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, the investigation found that the condition accounted for 8.5 per cent of such motoring behaviour reported by study participants.

It was led by the faculty's Bridie Scott-Parker and included 760 young drivers who were on their provisional licence.

Ms Scott-Parker said of the link between depression and risk-taking: "The association was greater in women than in men, with 9.5 per cent being explained by psychological distress in women compared with 6.7 per cent in men."

She added that identifying at-risk individuals is vital, while interventions for such people could be tailored for specific groups.

The research has been published in the international journal Injury Prevention.

Dr Lisa Orban, Chartered Psychologist, said: "Anxiety and depression can impair one's ability to concentrate and think clearly, which may impact judgment and decision-making behind the wheel."

It follows recent findings that appear online in the journal Neuropsychology, which showed older people are more likely to make driving errors than younger motorists.