Friday 27 November 2020

Study reveals indicating before turning spoils surprise for other road users

Tübingen, Germany (dpo) - For decades, learner drivers have been lectured on the absolute necessity of indicating before every turn and before overtaking. However, scientists at the Tübingen Institute for Traffic Research have now discovered a downside to using these supposedly useful light signals: indicating apparently spoils the surprise for other road users.

“People who like to add some spice to traffic and surprise their fellow drivers from time to time should keep their fingers off the indicator”, explains Magnus Vessel, spokesperson for the Institute. “This maintains a level of excitement, ensuring driving and traffic do not merely become routine.”
Spoilsports may, of course, still use their indicators
In their long-term study, researchers measured drivers’ stress levels when a car, bus or lorry suddenly turned in front of them without indicating. To this end, they regularly took blood tests, as well as recording and evaluating participants’ facial expressions with a special face cam. 97% of subjects showed a hugely increased heartrate. Furthermore, their adrenalin release was comparable to someone about to open a present. As for the remaining 3%, no clear results were found since measurements were disturbed by inflating airbags.
One remedy for the sudden drop in excitement caused by indicating could be a kind of “spoiler alert”. This would be a kind of pre-indicator installed centrally in the car which signals that the driver is intending to turn in another direction. Those drivers who do not want their surprise to be spoilt could simply look away until the danger has passed. The Tübingen researchers have also come up with further ideas to make traffic more exciting and spontaneous. For example, they suggest removing brake lights, indicating a turn in one direction before taking the other, or mastering longer stretches in reverse gear.
chs, ssi; picture: Shutterstock; first published 2017-05-12
Read the German version HERE.

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