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Sudden Scent of Roses Can Reduce The Number Of Car Accidents

There is now a scientific reason to stop and smell the roses or in this case, smell the roses and safely stop your car.

You might think we’re pollen your leg, as it does sound a little strange but a spray of rose scent in cars could be the newest breakthrough in roadside safety.

Scientists at Sussex University have found that spraying a pleasing floral scent like rose can calm drivers and significantly reduce the number of car accidents.

The scientists conducted an experiment in a laboratory driving rig where they used cars that had a spraying device connected to the centre of the steering wheel.

The technology in the spraying device would allow it to release a puff of rose-scented fragrance upon approaching a hazard ahead. The device could detect typical road hazards such as an approaching cyclist or vehicle.

The scientists found that the  pleasant smell comforted the drivers, and lowered accidents by 64 percent.

They tested the experiment with a variety of smells, one was lemon and civet, which is a musky smell found in many commercial perfume fragrances.

While the rose scent reduced accidents, researchers found the musky smell had the opposite effect, increasing accidents by 46 percent.

So, if someone ever offers you a musk stick (probably your Grandma as no young person ever has musk sticks) while you’re driving, we suggest saying 'no' and asking if they have some rose Turkish delight instead (also will have to be Grandma).

Dmitrijs Dmitrenko, a researcher at Sussex University states, ‘One of the advantages of smell over sight is that smell is quicker at reaching the brain. Smells take a while to reach the nose, but once the smell molecules reach the nose, the transition to nose and brain is quicker than eyes and ears.’

Before you jump in your stinky (well it may not be stinky, but I bet it doesn’t smell like roses) car and head out to buy a floral air freshener,  let me tell you there is no point, you can take off those rose coloured glasses because it won't work.

The researchers found that the rose scent could not be an ongoing aroma, it had to be spontaneous; a surprising smell. A rose scented air freshener therefore would not have the same effect as it would be too continual and ever present.

The Sussex University team seeks to collaborate with automakers to implement the technology. Until then may we suggest driving with the window down and hoping should a hazard arise there is a whiff of roses from a nearby garden.