Survey uncovers biggest driver distractions

12.00 | 8 September 2017 | | 1 comment

A survey undertaken as part of a ‘driver focus’ event has revealed that sat-navs and in-car technology are the biggest distractions for motorists.

On 25 August, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) joined colleagues from Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Services and officers from Highways England to talk to drivers at a number of service stations on the M1 motorway.

Representatives of the Safer Roads Alliance, a partnership between NFRS, Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Highways, were also involved in the event.

Of the drivers surveyed by the NFRS, 50 picked sat-nav or other in-car technology as the biggest culprit for distracting them from the road. A further 45 said stress, emotions, tiredness, daydreaming or road rage, while 41 said talking to passengers.

Sara Postlethwaite of the Safer Roads Alliance said: “Talking to people about the issues posed by driver distraction helped many to consider their personal distractions and realise the potential impact they could have.

“We often see reports from road traffic collisions which say ‘for unknown reasons the car left the carriageway’, and whatever those reasons are, they are distractions we want to prevent.”

Other distractions revealed by the event were looking at passengers/children in the back seat (39 drivers), eating, drinking, doing make-up/hair (35 drivers), and adjusting in-car controls (34 drivers).

Nine people admitted being distracted as a result of using a handheld mobile phone when driving, while 26 said using their mobile on hands-free was a distraction.

Ms Postlethwaite added: “Preventing mobile phone use is obviously very important because of the risk it poses, but we also wanted drivers to identify with distractions they might not readily think of as problems, the day-to-day issues which compromise road safety.

“Hopefully the conversations we had with drivers will result in them thinking more about their behaviour and making changes to keep themselves, their families and other road users safer.”

Category: Driver distraction.


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    using Sat Nav is for more dangerous than using a mobile, as the driver does not watch the road. Looking at Sat Navs should be illegal, except when stationary (off the highway).

    Paul Duckett, LEWES
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