Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mutant ninja drivers

That guy in front of you, the one who can't stay in his lane, who takes 20 seconds to respond to the light changing to green, who needs four lanes to make a turn, who slows down for green lights and sails through the red -- who amongst us hasn't made rude anatomical and ancestral references? Perhaps we should be more tolerant.

Steven Cramer, a neurology professor at the University of California Irvine, has published a study in Cerebral Cortex that indicates the presence of a gene variation in about 30% of the population that makes them not only bad drivers, but drivers that don't learn from their mistakes. I've read many studies showing that nearly all accidents are caused by a small percentage of drivers and that that group is not distinguished by high speed driving. They're just bad drivers and maybe we now have some idea why. As to whether this genetic marker occurs more frequently in some population segments? Why yes, I do have a ten foot pole, but it's on my boat and I'm not going there, thank you.

I don't want to put too much faith in one study, but I do like studies that confirm my prejudices and maybe the next time some idiot looks me in the eyes and pulls out onto the highway 5 feet in front of me or stops on the entrance ramp or cruises through the red making a right turn, I'll roll down the window and shout "You miserable brain-derived neurotrophic factor deprived mutant!" instead of the usual.

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