Passengers prove the biggest distraction

There are so many different things that can distract drivers.

There are so many different things that can distract drivers. - Credit: PA

The biggest distraction for drivers is other people in the car. Adult passengers are the most distracting, with 18% of drivers saying they have had a near-miss or crashed because of their attention being drawn away by someone else in the car.

An AA survey found adjusting the radio was the second biggest distraction, with 16% of drivers admitting they had narrowly avoided a collision or been in a crash while fiddling with the radio. Other major distractions include children (15%), working satellite navigation (13%), talking on a mobile phone (12%) and eating a sandwich (9%).

Drivers also cited drinking (7%) as a reason for not paying attention to the road ahead and around them. More reasons for being distracted while driving include texting (5%), emailing (1%), checking social media (1%) and smoking (1%).

Of the drivers surveyed, 1.5% said they had been in a collision due to being distracted. Government figures show there were 88 UK road deaths caused by driver distraction and 17 of those were directly attributed to mobile phone use.

AA president Edmund King said: “Although human distractions remain the biggest in-car threat, the figures for sat-navs and mobile phones give a warning for what might happen in the future as ‘infotainment’ and other technology become more commonplace. The higher kill rate for mobile phone-related reported accidents provides a strong wake-up call.


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“The transport secretary has floated the idea of six penalty points for using a hand-held mobile. If this proposal was backed by an information and enforcement campaign, it could begin to change the daily dangers that the majority of our members see with drivers texting and tweeting at the wheel.”

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