Driven to Distraction

mobile phone drivingThe Hazards of In-Car Technology

Technology is supposed to enhance the driving experience, but it seems that the more distraction on offer inside the carry, the less attention motorists are paying to the road.

That isn’t good news for car insurance policyholders as careless driving may invalidate any claim should an accident occur which turns out to be your fault.

Recent research found that a mobile phone ringing in a car can take a driver’s attention away from the road for seven seconds.

That may not seem like long, but in the study carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory, it was found to be four times longer than a motorist may react in normal driving circumstances.

Don’t worry, the researchers didn’t stick people out on the road and then start phoning and texting them.

They used a simulator to recreate the conditions and found that around 20% of those tests shifted their focus away from the road when their phone rang. It took drivers 24% longer to react to an unexpected incident when their phone rang or beeped.

When this is translated into a real on-road scenario, it was found that motorists can be driving for 8.5 metres without looking at 70mph. That’s enough to cause a serious problem.

The study also found that drivers will take their eyes of the road for four times longer than usual to respond to a text message.

And it seems that lifting the phone is an instinctive action while driving as, although around two-thirds of those asked said that answering your phone while driving was irresponsible, 25 % of them admitting doing it.

Few motorist escape any sort of in-car distraction while driving, with 84% admitting that some sort of technology inside their motor can grab their attention. Mobile devices were the most common, with 35% admitting to using them while driving, while a further 33% said they glanced at their Sat-navs and one in then drivers said they took their eyes of their road while fiddling with MP3 players.

Comments are closed.