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Driver Distractions

There are many causes of accidents on British roads, but driver distractions are one of the most deadly. 72% of drivers in the UK have admitted to multitasking at the wheel and 62% of 17-25 year olds have read a text while driving. With percentages so high there must be many serious injuries and fatalities on the road due to driver distractions.

Here are the top 10 driver distractions in the UK:

Smoking. Lighting a cigarette. Taking a hand off the wheel. They are all problems that can cause distraction to drivers. The moment you flick your cigarette out of the window a child could run out in front of you. With less control of the vehicle it will be harder to stop.

Moving objects in the car. You’re pet in the back seat or a wasp that has gotten into the car. It happens to everyone. The moment of seeing an insect in your car and figuring out how to get it out is seconds not thinking about your surroundings and potentially causing an accident.

Using devices or climate controls. Turning up the music on the radio, changing the station. Putting on the air conditioning. All take away the concentration of driving.

Eating and drinking at the wheel. 61% of drivers admitted to eating and drinking while they were driving. It’s easy to do if you’re running late but can be dangerous.

Using a navigation system. Entering destinations while driving, watching the map. It is a useful tool to direct you to a location without spending time looking at signs but it can be equally as distracting.

Other occupants in the car. Screaming children, fellow passengers. Turning around to talk to a passenger will take your eyes off the road, even if it takes a couple of seconds that’s still less time focused on the road.

A person or event that happens outside of the car. Someone walking down the road may distract you, an event taking place on the street. These temporarily distractions may cause you to have an accident.
Being on the phone, answering phone calls, texting, playing on apps. Some drivers have hands free but the 31% of drivers don’t. 1 in 6 male drivers in the UK have crashed due to using phones and 1/3 of under 25s have used Facebook while driving.

Being lost in thought while driving is very common. You set off home and suddenly you are there with no recollection of driving home. Being distracted is very dangerous as you may not see any immediate danger.

Looking in the mirror to apply cosmetics or to style your hair is also a huge distraction to drivers. 5% of drivers admitted to doing grooming tasks behind the wheel.

It is important to be aware of all of these distractions while driving. You do not want to be the cause of an accident taking place. The next time you are driving please be aware of your actions.

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