How is the motor cortex active while driving a car?

I’m taking biology this year, and I’m really curious about how the brain works when we do various activities. For example, what does the motor cortex do while you’re driving a car?

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Answer provided by
Ethan Daniel Moser
Answered on Apr 15, 2022
Your brain is constantly firing off neurological signals to keep you safe behind the wheel. In particular, the motor cortex helps keep us safe by initiating physical driving actions. The primary function of the motor cortex—which is part of the frontal lobe—is to generate signals to direct movement throughout the human body.
Here are some ways your motor cortex helps keep you safe while driving:
  • If an unexpected obstacle appears in the street before you, your motor cortex causes you to slam on the brakes by sending neurological signals to your legs and feet
  • Similarly, if you need to swerve to avoid an obstacle, or just make a routine turn, your motor cortex allows you to turn your car’s steering wheel by sending neurological signals to your arms and hands
While the motor cortex is a great tool for allowing us to drive and for keeping us safe behind the wheel, it doesn’t prevent driver error or other unexpected accidents, so having reliable car insurance is necessary to protect yourself and your vehicle.
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