DRIVERS have been issued an urgent warning about spreading germs in their cars – and there is one thing that is making it worse.
At the beginning of the pandemic, people were advised to avoid touching their faces as they could spread easily bacteria and viruses from their nose and throat.
And now new research by Nottingham University suggests that drivers touch their face 26 times an hour on average, which means they could be spreading germs all over their vehicle.
Researchers from the University’s Human Factors Research Group examined video footage documenting 36 experienced drivers, the Mirror reported.
They noticed that drivers touched on or around their face 26.4 times per hour with each touch lasting for nearly four seconds.
The vast majority of drivers (79 per cent) were seen touching their face, followed by 10 per cent touching their hair, an eight per cent their neck and one per cent their shoulders.
On 42 per cent of the occasions, the drivers contacted mucous membranes such as the inner lining of their lips, nostrils and eyes every five minutes, using mainly their fingertips and thumbs.
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The research also acknowledged otherface-touching behaviours, such as nose picking and ear cleaning, particularly when the driver was alone in the vehicle.
There is a higher risk of transmitting germs through face-touching, especially if there are other people in the car and if hand hygiene is poor.
A simple scratch of the nose could mean the driver is unintentionally transferring viruses or bacteria to their face.
The study also showed that drivers were less prone to face-touching when driving in difficult conditions.
A study by compare.com revealed that cars are "a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria and fungi," with the steering wheel and the driver’s side door handle being the filthiest surfaces.
These two areas are also dirtier than a remote control and computer keyboard.
The study found that steering wheels have 24 per cent more bacteria than a toilet handle.
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