BRITS are more likely to cause a car accident after watching the British Grand Prix.
Many drivers were found trying to replicate the talents of Formula One racers when behind the wheel in a recent study.
Undertaken by the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery, the investigation found there was 6.3 per cent jump in the number of speed-related crashes following a televised motor sport race.
The study also revealed racing enthusiasts would subconsciously mimic professional drivers after watching Formula One or NASCAR, causing them to crash.
It also found a link between the audience size of motor sport races and the number of motor accidents on the roads in the following days.
In some cases, viewers can even become “physiologically aroused” when watching a popular race, which then increases the chances of imitating dangerous behaviour.
Jacob Roden-Foreman, lead researcher on the study, said: “As hypothesized, there was a significant positive association between ratings and the incidence rate of speed-related motor vehicle collisions
“It is possible that when viewers see NASCAR racers’ driving behaviours rewarded, this results in symbolic observational learning and creates an implicit association between fast driving and reward.
“This link could then be reactivated via priming effects when viewers get behind the wheel.
“As such, though neither intended nor likely to make NASCAR viewers or fans of other racing competitions stop watching races, viewers should be aware of the potential effects that their viewership may have on both their safety and that of the public.”
The warning comes after Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton took out the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday.
If you’re caught speeding, police can hit you with a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points on your licence.
Depending on your speed though, you may face a maximum £2,500 fine and lengthy driving ban.
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Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing, said: “The British Grand Prix attracted a peak audience of 2.5million viewers on Channel Four, and around 140,000 went through the turnstiles at Silverstone.
“But if you want to recreate the thrill of the speed on show, get yourself to the racetrack and away from public highways.
“Speeding contributes to around 11% of all collisions reported to the police, 15% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions that result in a death in the UK.
“While you might wish to emulate stars like Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton, you’re putting lives at risk.”