Drive fast in a powerful car, it's good for you

Drive fast in a powerful car, it's good for you

Ford-sponsored research shows driving a sports car provides better mental health boost than shopping of television binge watching.

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Cleveland, Ohio – Money may not be able to buy you love, but apparently, driving a sports car comes pretty darned close.

Working with Ford Motor Co., British university physiology professor and researcher Dr. Harry Witchel released a study showing how many “buzz moments” or peak thrills that people experience on a daily basis from various activities.

Study participants rated how often they got thrills from a variety of activities – kissing loved ones, cheering on sports teams, watching Game of Thrones episodes, taking dancing classes… or getting behind the wheel of a powerful car.

At 2.1 buzz moments per participant, driving sports cars came in No. 2 in testing, behind only riding roller coasters (3 buzz moments).

“A roller coaster may be good for a quick thrill, but it’s not great for getting you to work every day,” Witchel says. “This study shows how driving a performance car does much more than get you from A to B – it could be a valuable part of your daily wellbeing routine.”

Ford provided Focus RS, Focus ST and Mustang vehicles for buzz moment testing.

Researchers at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany, are already looking into how vehicles can better understand and respond to drivers’ emotions. As part of the EU-funded ADAS&ME project, Ford experts are investigating how in-car systems may one day be aware of emotions – as well as levels of stress, distraction and fatigue – providing prompts and warnings, and could even take control of the car in emergency situations.

“We think driving should be an enjoyable, emotional experience,” says Dr. Marcel Mathissen, research scientist at Ford of Europe. “The driver-state research Ford and its partners are undertaking is helping to lead us towards safer roads and – importantly – healthier driving.”

Activity

Buzz moments

Roller Coaster

3

Driving

2.1

Shopping

1.7

Game of Thrones

1.5

Football Game

1.5

Kissing

0

Salsa Dancing

0

Dining

0