Distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention while you are driving. Statistics show that distractions cause up to 80% of all driving accidents.
What is driving distraction?
When you are driving, any additional activity will put added pressure on you. As a result, you may become less observant, making you less likely to anticipate hazards, and an accident could occur due to driver distraction.
Although there are many potential forms of distraction for a driver, generally the driver’s brain will tend to prioritise information and focus mostly on that which is driving related.
Causes of driver distraction
A driver is distracted when they pay attention to a second activity – the leading causes are:
- Texting and social media
- Using a mobile phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Personal grooming
- Reading – including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player
Texting is particularly disturbing
Because text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 50 mph that is the driving length of a football pitch.
Research shows that around 80% of all crashes are due to a distraction or lack of attention by the driver (this also includes tiredness).
Distractions are also responsible for nearly 65% of near misses.