It's no secret that driving requires focus and superb decision making; and by 'focus', we mean all areas in your brain working together to accomplish one job. We found out in our past article about the brain activities when we drive, as well as the different types of distraction that could result to losing our focus.
Well, you'll be surprised what Shell found out in their recent study that was announced in the 'What Drives You' event – the way you feel, whether you're sad, angry, or happy, reflects on how you behave behind the wheel. It turns out, your stress level, diet, and sleeping habits play a huge role in all of these so every driver needs to pay close attention in maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
The study, a.k.a. the Shell Driving Experiment, was done on 2,000 participants from across 11 countries. The aim was to collect and measure data on driving performance based on the drivers' emotional status. This was made possible through the use of the 37 Degree emotion-tracking band, ChatBots, mobile apps, and weather and traffic information.
Speed, acceleration, and braking are the main factors in the study. To get a high performance score, a participant needs to drive as smooth as they can. This means harsh braking and sudden acceleration will lower their scores. More than 300 drivers in the Philippines participated and completed 2,000 journeys in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao. Here are the findings.
Filipino drivers are the smoothest on the road.
Out of all 11 nationalities who participated, the study revealed that the Philippines got the highest driving performance score. According to Shell, Filipinos have smoother journeys than Malaysian, German, or Dutch drivers. In fact, Filipinos are said to be the most efficient ones on the road. Pat yourself on the shoulder and keep it up.
In numbers, the Philippines earned an average efficiency score of 72% in a 16.2 km journey distance. The average driving speed was 18 km/h, while the average journey time is one hour. Filipino drivers were able to get an average smooth trip score of 98%, quite high amid the unpleasant driving conditions in the country.
Pinay or pinoy, it doesn't matter.
Filipinos debunked the idea of gender influencing the way a woman or a man drives. The study discovered significant Filipino driving personalities: the modern man and the gamma woman, which were given life by actor Jericho Rosales and professional racer Michele Bumgarner. These unique personalities are products of the internal and external factors that make up the driving conditions in the Philippines.
The Modern Man refers to drivers known for having sensitive and ambitious personalities that go alongside their ability to keep a well-balanced emotional state. They don't get too excited quickly, rather, they adapt well to any situation, while maintaining caution on the road. However, such personality shows more vulnerability to stress and would need social support to cope with it.
The Gamma Woman, on the other hand, is a personality type that is observed commonly on female participants. This personality links to emotionally-stable people on and off the road. They showed calmness and openness which, in return, earned them excellent driving performance scores. To them, family comes first, which is why they drive more careful whenever their kids is in the car.
Family is everything
If there's one thing to associate Filipinos with, it's the love of family and that was very apparent in the study. Shell found out that Filipinos would opt to drive with a companion if given a chance. Another thing is, the participants drove more careful and had consistently better performance when there are other people inside the car – we all should, right?
Filipinos' constant emotion on the road? Stress.
Maintaining a healthy body requires the right amount of sleep every night, well-balanced diet, and a happy life. Well, it isn't just the latter that is affected by stress; in fact, your eating patterns, as well as your quality of sleep are very much affected if you're under stress. Since the local traffic condition isn't that good, drivers who are on their way to work are the ones more stressed compared to those who are on the road for other reasons.
Food is a key factor in staying focused on the road.
It was discovered that when a person is hungry (or 'hangry' on the extreme level), chances are our ability to drive will be lower than our average. This is because we tend to lose focus, as our muscles lose the energy supply they need to function well. One more thing, Filipinos love food, be it inside a car or in the comfort of their own house.
However, there's a catch. In able to supply your body the nutrients it needs, you need to eat the right amount of everything. Too much sugar may result to you being sleepy as the glucose crashes. On the flip side, health guru Nadine Tengco explained that one must stay hydrated through liquids and consume food that are rich in Omega-3 to relieve stress.
Photo courtesy of Judgefloro.