Road collisions are rarely accidents – someone has usually made a mistake, deliberate or otherwise. The largest cause of collisions – for all road users – is failure to look properly.

The most common distractions are:

  • texting
  • children in the car
  • talking on the phone
  • chatting to a passenger
  • changing the radio or music system
  • road rage
  • staring at an accident
  • having an argument
  • eating or drinking
  • lighting a cigarette

In the first 6 months of driving

1 in 5

new drivers will have a collision

Hands free phones

According to research from the University of Sussex:

  • Driving while talking on a hands free phone is just as distracting as talking on a hand-held phone
  • Drivers having a hands free phone conversation which sparked their visual imagination reacted 2 times slower to hazards than undistracted drivers
  • Drivers using a hands free phone looked at an area of the scene ahead 4 times smaller than the area looked at by undistracted drivers
  • Drivers having a hands free phone conversation which sparked their visual imagination detected half as many hazards as undistracted driver

Drivers using a hands free phone took around

0.98 seconds

longer to react to hazards that were directly ahead.

At 30 mph that's an extra stopping distance of

13 metres

or 3.25 Ford Fiestas.