Mike Stevens | Sep 20, 2011

NRMA Motoring & Services has begun trials of a new system for measuring stress in motorists, utilising 3D goggles and a pulse rate monitor.

Setting up a number of roadside sites around Sydney, the programme invited 500 commercial and private motorists to take part. The test involved participants wearing 3D goggles and ear plugs, which displayed 19 real-life stressful driving scenarios.

As each scene appeared in the goggles' display, a record of the participant's pulse was taken, helping the program to rank the most stressful on-road bothers.

The NRMA BusinessWise survey found breaking down in peak hour to be the most stressful situation to experience while on the road (78 percent), followed by minor ‘at-fault’ car accidents (69 percent).

The top ten stressful experiences included:

  1. Broken down in peak hour traffic (78%)
  2. Minor at-fault car accidents (69%)
  3. Keys locked in the car (61%)
  4. Being tailgated by another driver (48%)
  5. Minor not-at-fault car accidents (45%)
  6. Trying to get across multiple lanes in a short space of time for a turnoff (43%)
  7. Pulled over with a flat tyre on an unfamiliar road (41%)
  8. A car trying to merge in front of you without indicating or any warning (41%)
  9. Following a GPS that you know isn’t right, driving to unfamiliar places and getting lost (40%)
  10. Stuck in heavy traffic (40%)

NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said the BusinessWise survey found the least stressful on-road experience to be not knowing where the fuel lever is in the vehicle they are driving.

Picture top: NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin taking the test at the launch of the stress test results yesterday.

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