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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Genetics Driven

Not too long ago, I had a facebook status questioning who the worst drivers are. And though I don't express the views of my fb friends who responded (disclaimer), a vast majority said either women or Asians. And if you’re an Asian woman, perhaps an exchange should be made: your license for a bus pass. Well, to bring light to the situation, I have discovered an article illuminating bad driving (funny how people can claim to have discovered something that was already there). Turns out, these hindrances to the road, particularly when I’m running late for work, is attributed to genetics.

The article notes that if you have a particular gene variant, you are expected to perform 30% worst on a driving exam than people without it. And with 30% of Americans believed to have this variant, there is a hell of a lot of bad drivers in my way on the roads. To break it down, this gene variation limits the amount of protein called, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, that is secreted to the section of the brain associated with the act of driving (or any activity for that matter). So in layman's terms, when its time to drive, this protein ain’t connected to the gas pedal of the brain. And aside from bad driving, this variant causes problems with memory retention. For instance if you drive a particular route all week getting pretty used to it, driving it again on Monday will be like a brand new experience. You are likely to run into the same pothole, miss the exit, yet again, and you’ve forgotten you need change for the toll.

So with this newly found understanding, please have mercy on all the bad drivers. And the next time you get cut off, don't honk, instead just yell out, "You can't help it, ASSHOLE, its all genetics!!"

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