IAM RoadSmart has published a new video to highlight the consequences of becoming distracted while driving, which the charity has described as ‘an increasing problem’.
The light-hearted video features former McLaren Formula 1 test driver Darren Turner in a racing simulator. As he tries to navigate a race circuit, he is distracted by a small child, a dog and a ringing mobile phone – all of which impact on his driving ability.
Darren Turner said: “I thought it would be easy to ignore a child or a barking dog, and easily be able to take a phone call and keep driving safely. But this isn’t the case.
“Losing concentration for even two seconds could lead to pretty serious consequences.”
DfT figures show that in 2013, there were 2,995 cases where distraction in the vehicle was listed as a contributory factor to a collision.
IAM RoadSmart points to its own research, conducted in partnership with Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), which concludes that engaging in more than one task while driving can have a ‘detrimental’ effect on the quality and accuracy of performance.
Earlier this week, new research from the University of Sussex concluded that talking on a hands-free phone can be just as distracting as a hand-held mobile.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, added: “No matter how good a driver you are it is very easy to have your focus shifted away from the job in hand.
“We all have things on our mind, places to go and things to do – it’s only human. But it is so important to realise driving is a full-time task and not one to be combined with other things.
“Multi-tasking is expected in many walks of life, but it simply doesn’t apply on the road – no one can do two things at once if one of them is driving.”
To mark the launch of the video, IAM RoadSmart is offering a 10% discount on its Advanced Driver Course (formerly known as Skill for Life) until the end of August.