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Study Reveals Why Gen Y Drivers Are The Most Stressed

By Tony Ibrahim | Tuesday | 09/08/2011

With a Police survey revealing GPS Navigators distract drivers and cause accidents, Navteq have changed how their GPS units deliver information to drivers. Using a Galaxy Research study, they've also identified that generation Y drivers are the most stressed behind the wheel.

An Australian study conducted by Galaxy Research reveals that Gen Y drivers are the most stressed on the road. Of the 79% of drivers who are stressed behind the wheel, stress levels appear to decrease with age, revealing Gen Y drivers are twice as stressed as Baby Boomers.

According to the survey Gen Y drivers are the most prone to becoming lost on the roads, with one in three admitting they have a poor sense of direction. Additionally, 20% of Gen Y drivers claim they make impulsive decisions on the road when trying to navigate around traffic, compared to just 6% of Baby Boomers.

According to the study's lead researcher, Mark McCrindle, the survey identifies how different generations absorb information and respond to their surroundings. With technological advancements facilitating a bombardment of information, Gen Y is suffering from an overload of info.

"Generation Y, with work, study and hectic social lives, is fast becoming over stimulated as it is the generation most bombarded by external influences," said McCrindle.

"Growing up with the internet and social media as the norm, they are suffering information overload, which could be impacting their ability to take in information. If that is the case it could explain the higher stress they experience when behind the wheel,"

After examining the research, Navteq believes the technologically versed but stress driven youths would benefit from a GPS device that delivers information in a simple fashion. 

"NAVTEQ believes that these modern-day stress factors are all avoidable through the use of navigation, especially for the younger generation who are traditionally more tech-savvy," said Kirk Mitchell, VP of Navteq sales. 

In response, Navteq have decided to veer away from traditional voice navigation content by reducing quantitative measurements. When thinking about it, trying to estimate 400 metres when driving is pretty tough, especially at speed.

Instead, technology called Navteq Natural voice guidance directs drivers through descriptive reference cues. Instead of uttering a jargon driven prompt, it will describe location landmarks and traffic icons familiar to the driver. 'Turn left after the yellow shop' or 'turn right at the traffic lights' is a much more simple approach to 'in 500 metres, at the round-about take the third exit.' Who wants to count exists when juggling gears?

It's a simple and elegant solution. Reducing technological jargon can increase how receptive a driver is to voice cues, tapping into the driver's natural habits instead of forcing them to learn road lingo.

Read: Study Finds GPS Navigators Cause Accidents

"'Humanised technology' helps break down traditional barriers of adoption, as it helps remove the fear or learning curve often associated with new advancements.  As more intuitive technology becomes available, these advancements will integrate more seamlessly into people's lives," McCrindle said.

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