Technology Spain , Salamanca, Friday, July 27 of 2018, 07:32

A technological platform to overcome the fear of driving

A project of the University of Salamanca teaches psychological techniques 'online' to improve road safety

FGUSAL/DICYT Many people suffer from amaxophobia or fear of driving a vehicle, which besides being a problem for personal daily life, can put road safety at risk. Faced with this situation, researchers, psychologists and experts from the University of Salamanca have worked on the project 'Development of a Computer Application for Amaxophobic and Risk Behavior in Driving' (DAICRAC), which aims to provide an effective solution to this problem.

"It is a computer platform whose main objective is to improve the driving of those people who present amaxophobic behavior, but it is also aimed at those who are interested in getting behind the wheel in a more efficient and relaxed way", explains José Carlos Sánchez, researcher at the Department of Psychology Social and Anthropology and head of the Entrepreneurs Chair of the University of Salamanca.

The insecurity of drivers can derive from emotional, psychological and social factors and, for them, this intervention consists of developing a preventive strategy to contribute to a more secure and efficient mobility.
Specifically, DAICRAC is the combination of three psychological techniques that are having great success in various fields. On the one hand, coaching, a method of training to meet personal goals and develop skills. On the other, full consciousness or mindfulness that allows us to focus on the present moment. And finally, neurolinguistic programming, a strategy that promotes changes to achieve certain goals.

"The brain executes the techniques we have worked with and generates new knowledge in a very short time, which allows us to drive calmly, efficiently and safely," says coach Cándido Pascual Maté, an expert in personal development who collaborates in the project.


On-line contents

The exercises that each person must perform to achieve these results are divided into six modules and can be found online. "The access to the training contents has two levels: an online training platform that contains the videos, the exercises and the evaluation tests; and an app that can be consulted through the mobile phone to ease the process ", explains Herminio Martín Romero, specialist in educational technology.

The project has been developed thanks to the call Proof of Concept of the General Foundation of the University of Salamanca and the TCUE program of the Regional Government of Castilla y León, co-financed with FEDER funds. Now it is useful for society as a whole, especially, for traffic managers and professional drivers.


Accident rate related

What we intend with this computer application, as researchers, is to reduce the accident rate, given that in a 90% of the car accidents the driver's involvement is crucial. Therefore, we bet on measures that try to change driver's behavior, regarding their knowledge, skills and know how, "says Brizeida Hernández Sánchez, researcher at the Entrepreneurs Chair, who also participates in this project. "That's the most important thing," she adds. "If we achieve an improvement in driver excellency, we can guarantee an improvement in safety,ility and efficiency."