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Genes may be responsible for some poor driving

Posted On Tue, November 3, 2009

When it comes to having higher auto insurance costs because of being a bad driver, some people may be able to chalk it up to their genetic code.

A recent study from the University of California, Irvine, noted that a gene variant that affects about 30 percent of Americans may make them more of a risk behind the wheel. The variant limits a certain protein that is associated with memory.

In order to test the connection between the variant and driving, researchers at the university had 29 people take part in a driving simulation that required them to navigate a course a number of times. Of those who took the test, the seven who have the variant did more poorly in the initial testing phase and during a re-test taken a few days later.

"These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away," Dr. Steven Cramer, a neurology associate professor at the university, said of people with the variant.

Regardless of whether it's written in their genes, drivers who get into more accidents are likely to see higher costs for their auto insurance. Other things that can increase auto insurance include the type of car a person drives and how much they use their vehicle.

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