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Driving Study Offers Money for Nothin’

Do you drive more than twice a week? Got a desire to make five hundred bucks a year? And are you okay with researchers poking around in your car?

If you answered “yes” to all three of those questions, you’re in luck — the Strategic Highway Research Program is looking for individuals to participate in the “Naturalistic Driving Study,” which pays well and seems to pose few drawbacks. State College is one of a handful of major university towns — ‘joining Buffalo, N.Y., Bloomington, Ind., Tampa, Fla., Durham N.C., and Seattle, Wash. — the SHRP is conducting “study centers,” to monitor driving habits as part of its ongoing plan to “identify countermeasures which will significantly improve highway safety through an understanding of driving behaviors.”

Okay, so most Penn Staters probably won’t be eligible, since the majority of us live either downtown or on campus, and our driving is limited to going home for holidays and the occasional Wal-Mart trip. But those commuter lots by Beaver Stadium are full every day, so there have to be some students who could take advantage of the free cash. So if you’re already fretting over your commute, cheer up — you might qualify for some free cash.

It looks like researchers will install a couple small, non-invasive, devices into participating cars, which will allow them to constantly receive data without requiring alteration of driving habits, and send out periodic questionnaires to the drivers enrolled in the study. The program’s website offers more information, including a questionnaire that will determine eligibility, a full run-down of the risks and benefits, and an FAQ page that should answer any lingering questions.


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About the Author

Devon Edwards

Devon is a 2012 Penn State graduate and current law student at NYU. Devon joined Onward State in January of 2011, after a lengthy stay in the comment section. His likes include sabermetrics, squirrels, and longs walks on the beach, and his dislikes include spelunking, when you put your clothes in the dryer and they come out still kinda damp but also warm, and the religious right.

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