Published On: Tue, Dec 20th, 2016

Is Driving Bad for Our Health?

Driving is something the majority of us learn to do in early adulthood. We use cars to commute to work, go to the shops, or to take the family out for a daytrip. In short, a car is a pretty essential part of modern life. Yet cars are also very dangerous.

Is Driving Bad for Our Health

There were 186k casualties on UK roads in 2015, of which 1732 were fatalities. This might not sound a lot, but if I told you that five people died in a road accident every single day, you might be rather more alarmed. Don’t forget also, there are many accidents that go unreported.

Modern Cars are Much Safer

Driving a car is a dangerous activity. Modern vehicles are a lot safer than they were thirty years ago, mostly thanks to technological advancements in the automotive industry. Car manufacturers have spent a fortune on making vehicles safer. We now have airbags to protect us from front-end collisions, side air bags and impact bars, in-built roll-cages, not to mention a multitude of on-board sensors to warn us when we are about to hit something. There is no doubt that driving is a lot safer than it once was, but accident statistics don’t tell you who or what caused the accident.

Driver Error is to Blame

Driver error is more often than not to blame for accidents on the roads. Humans easily lose concentration when driving. Screaming children in the back seat, loud music, or the chiming of an in-coming text to a smartphone – it doesn’t take much to distract us from the road ahead. Some drivers also choose to drive whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. Yet others drive too fast for the road conditions, or drive dangerously, putting other road users at risk.

When you take into account the numbers of accidents on our roads, you might be forgiven for thinking that driving is a dangerous activity and most definitely bad for our health. Yet it’s not all bad news. Driving tests are very rigorous these days, and designed to test a learner driver’s skills on a multitude of levels. Learner drivers in the UK have to take a driving theory test before they are allowed to book a practical driving test (you can practice for this by taking a mock driving theory test to test your skills).

Physical Problems Caused by Driving

Once you have passed your driving test and gained a driving licence, you are free to drive on public roads. However, driving for extended periods of time can cause other health problems, including a bad back, stiff shoulders and hips, and other symptoms. Sitting in one position for too long is not good for us. The only way to avoid physical problems caused by driving is to break up the journey into smaller chunks, stopping along the way for rest breaks and a walk around.

Driving is never a risk-free activity, but if driverless cars take off, the roads will definitely be safer, for drivers and pedestrians.