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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:-   10 July 2006

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Being born 'accident prone' is a myth

EXPERTS have unearthed 5 personality types more likely to be involved in the 10,000 UK car accidents that happen every day. And, according to the academic study commissioned by Direct Line, none of them involve simply being unlucky.  In fact, motorists hiding behind the 'I'm just unlucky' excuse can now take the Direct Line test online at
directline.com/accidentpronequiz.pdf to find out if their personality steers them into accidents.

Cultured Britons belong to the 'impulsive' group of drivers whose imaginative and broad-minded approach to life means they're more likely to
make up the rules as they go along. And that's not good news for avoiding accidents.  Meanwhile, the 'Accident-Prone Myth' report also reveals that, although worrywarts are naturally more safety-minded, they're more likely to cause calamity on the roads. 'Neurotic' motorists are so wrapped up in their own worries they're more easily distracted than other drivers. And they're also most likely to react badly to stress, which affects their reaction times and judgement.

Fun loving, chatty people are also pushing up UK accident levels. Direct Line experts found that the 'sensation- seeking' group was less careful, had a lower attention span and were more thrill-seeking than other drivers. Outgoing types should also know that their accident potential increases during stretches of more boring motorway driving.   'Me, me, me' types are also veering into more problems on the road. This 'irresponsible' group is more likely to ignore the consequences of their actions, flout road rules and think only of the here and now.

Finally, the report conducted by think tank, the Centre for Future Studies, concluded that the Eastender Phil Mitchell types of the world are also, as suspected, more responsible for accidents. 'Not agreeable' types are more hostile, aggressive and emotional behind the wheel, leading to a higher risk of collision.  The report was compiled from an academic literature review of 108 studies of driving behaviour and the causes of accidents.

Commenting on Its findings, Emma Holyer, Direct Line said:- "As the UK's leading car insurer, we're constantly looking into the issue of road safety and the cause of accidents. The Centre for Future Studies conducted the study to try and understand once and for all whether some people are just unlucky - or whether accidents can be more preventable.  Hopefully, by uncovering these 5 personality types who are more prone to accidents, we can help motorists better understand their behaviour in terms of road safety and try not to let their personality traits rule their driving behaviour.
Given the strength of our '
Accident-Prone Myth' findings, perhaps it might also be appropriate to include psychological testing as part of the driving test."

Dr Glenn Wilson, reader in personality, Institute of Psychiatry, added:- "Over the years many psychologists have sought to identify an
"
accident-prone" personality that would explain why a small number of people account for the majority of accidents. They now realise that no single trait in itself predicts the likelihood of accidents. However, a constellation of several different traits does add up to an accident-prone person. These include irresponsibility, aggression, impulsiveness, sensation-seeking and neuroticism - traits which are tapped by standard personality questionnaires." 

Quiet revolution at Sefton Park library

QUEUING up to have books stamped is a thing of the past at a Liverpool library - thanks to new state-of-the-art technology.  Sefton Park Library on Aigburth Road, which was built in 1911, has been totally redecorated and now boasts a self-issue machine to improve convenience for customers. It is the third community library in the city to benefit from the technology, alongside Allerton and Old Swan.

A new children's library has been installed for younger readers to enjoy. There is also an improved 'surfzone' with almost 50% more computers, all with free internet and email facilities.  The library, which has more than 20,000 items on its shelves, issues more than 100,000 books per year.

Council leader Warren Bradley said:- "Liverpool's libraries are centres of learning right at the heart of the community and are used by many thousands of people.  We are determined that they become more welcoming places where both young and old can learn."

A total of 8 of Liverpool's community libraries have been refurbished in the last four years.  Liverpool's libraries have Beacon status by the government for high standards and the city council's Library Plan has received top marks from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Roadshows to Attract Voters

A SERIES of roadshows are going to take place in Liverpool to encourage more people to register to vote.
They are aimed in particular at people from black and minority ethnic groups aged between 18 to 25 as research has shown that there is a low level of registration in these groups.

The first roadshow will be held at the Methodist Centre, Beaconsfield Street on Thursday 13 July 2006 between 7pm and 10pm when staff from the city council's electoral services will be distributing material explaining how to register and the benefits from doing so.  Leaflets printed in a variety of languages have been produced and will be widely distributed.

David Kidger, interim elections manager, said:- "It is very important that all sections of the community take their chance to have a say. Not registering for voting means that you cannot take part in the democratic process.  But as well as not being able to vote, if you are not registered you may have trouble gaining credit, problems with hire purchase agreements, acquiring a loan or mortgage or even buying a mobile phone, quite simply it pays to be on the electoral register."

Liverpool was 1 of 6 authorities who made successful bids to the Department for Constitutional Affairs for funding for work in raising voter awareness.

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