With so many things going on at any one time and potential hazards everywhere, driving requires every ounce of your concentration.
An accident can happen anywhere, at any time and all it takes is for you to take your eyes off the road for a few seconds.
However, it’s inevitable that all motorists succumb to distractions every so often and as awareness is one of the best forms of prevention, here are some of the top driving distractions.
Back seat driving, fiddling with the radio and incessant talking – we’ve all had those passengers in our cars at some point.
However, research by Confused.com has revealed that it is merely their presence which can present a danger, with 25% of motorists admitting they get nervous when someone else is travelling in the car with them and 21% saying they are more easily distracted with someone else in the vehicle.
The survey showed that a fifth of drivers have had an accident when someone else was in the car, and one in 14 of these actually blamed the behaviour of the passengers for the crash.
A separate survey by Saga Car Insurance revealed that members of the opposite sex are the most common distractions for men.
A quarter of males surveyed admitted to taking their eyes off the road to gaze at attractive women, whereas just 1% of women admitted to looking at men while behind the wheel.
Far from being a passenger luxury, 30% of drivers admitted to looking at landmarks and views instead of fully concentrating on the roads.
Gadgets are also a big distraction, with 21% saying that changing the music or radio station detracts from their concentration levels and 20% saying the same about a Sat Nav.
Around 12% of drivers admitted to being engrossed in a car accident rather than giving the roads their full attention.
Eating and drinking at the wheel and conversations via hands free systems are also causes of distraction.
Consequences of distraction
The consequences of succumbing to distractions can range from being charged with “driving without due care and attention” to increasing your chances of being involved in an accident.
Accidents can have devastating consequences and can also make it harder to find good value insurance.
Research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists revealed that drivers are more likely to be “distracted or impaired” at the weekends compared with weekdays (17% vs. 10%), so next time you’re out and about on a Saturday, think – is now really the best time to change the radio station?
If you were involved in a road traffic accident and there is evidence the blame lies elsewhere, you may wish to consider making an accident claim.