The British School of MotoringBSM) in association with Wrigley, the chewing gum company took a recent survey of 36 learner drivers on a simulator, checking their mistakes and comparing their performance when chewing and not chewing gum.
The research showed that 91 per cent of those tested were more likely to avoid hazards on the road while chewing, while 85 per cent were better at steering. When asked, almost two thirds of drivers (61 per cent) said they felt that chewing gum helped them focus more on their driving.
The study measured the main skills learning drivers need to develop in order to pass a driving test. The test group of drivers were randomly tested, chewing and not chewing gum. Driving errors measured were speeding, kerb contact, lane discipline, jumping traffic lights, checking mirror and using indicators.
Robin Cummins OBE, road safety consultant for BSM offered: "There are a number of different ways driving students can improve their driving skills, and naturally anything they can do to increase their concentration is a huge asset. Our advice is that plenty of practice and preparation can help learners to maintain focus while driving and ultimately help them achieve their goal of becoming safe, responsible drivers."
To help drivers improve their concentration, BSM advises opening windows to increase the oxygen supply to the brain, stopping for regular breaks, drinking water and/or energy drinks to keep hydrated and chewing suger-free gum.