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:
- 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
longer to react to hazards that were directly ahead.
At 30 mph that's an extra stopping distance of
or 3.25 Ford Fiestas.