Thankfully, almost all drivers these days are aware of the dangers of drink-driving and the penalties imposed. It seems government advertising campaigns and police crackdowns have been effective. But less well known are the dangers caused by driving distractions. MoneySupermarket.com has surveyed over 2,000 motorists in order to find out which are the most common distractions which are faced by drivers. You can find out more about the top ten driving distractions at this website Bus Driverse . This had some quite surprising results…
The Top Ten Distractions
Almost all cars are now equipped with radios, CD players and MP3 sockets. It’s no surprise then that 54% of drivers admitted to being distracted by fiddling with the audio equipment. Almost half (47%) admitted taking their hands off the wheel to eat and the same number said they consumed soft drinks. 16% admitted using their phone while driving, with a similar number admitting texting. You’re four times more likely to be in a crash while making a call and a horrifying 23 times more likely if texting.
A little love can be dangerous too. Some 8% of drivers admit being distracted while being ‘romantic’ with their partners. It seems love can indeed make you blind to the dangers of the road. Perhaps the 7% who admit applying cosmetics while driving should take note. It doesn’t do to be too attractive to your partner while driving. Information regarding common causes of driver distraction can be found at Auto Mobile Insur .
Despite the campaigns warning us that tiredness can kill, 4% of drivers admit dozing or falling asleep while driving. It seems drivers over 70 are most likely to nod off at the wheel. Those smartphones are at numbers 9 and 10 in the list of distractions, with 3% admitting to using mobile apps and the same number to accessing Facebook.
How Dangerous Is Distracted Driving?
Some of these distractions seem more dangerous than others falling asleep at the wheel, for example. But while tuning the radio may seem trivial, the statistics tell us otherwise. Over 2,500 accidents are caused by careless driving every day in the UK. That’s nearly a million per year. More than 2.5% of road traffic fatalities in the UK are caused by in-car distractions and the iPod alone is responsible for 17 accidents every single day on UK roads.
What Can Be Done?
Modern cars are filled with gadgets which seem to have less to do with driving and more to do with distracting the driver. CD players can have drivers rooting around the car to find a new CD and MP3 sockets encourage use of those iPods. Cup holders can only encourage drinking. Many cars have hands-free sets for mobile phones and steering-wheel controls intended to lessen distraction.
This technology overlooks the fact that it can be the content of the call that is distracting. What driver wouldn’t be distracted by a call from the boss or from demanding children? It seems then that it is up to the driver to manage these in-car distractions intelligently and concentrate on driving. Mobile phones can be switched off and music stations and CDs selected before setting off. The alternative can be dangerous and costly.
What Are the Legal Implications?
While most drivers know that drink-driving is a crime, fewer are aware that fiddling with the radio can land them in court. The offence is driving without due care and attention, or careless driving. If convicted, a driver could face between three and nine penalty points, a fine of 5,000 and discretionary disqualification. During 2012 the government consulted on making minor careless-driving offences punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £90 and three penalty points. This is intended to reduce paperwork and may make police more likely to pursue minor offenders.
Needless to say, insurers are likely to take a dim view of those convicted for careless driving. Drivers could face a significant rise in motor insurance premiums. This website Autotyme Automotive, provides additional information regarding the Top 10 Driving Distractions .