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Driven to Distraction

16-May-2011
16-May-2011 17:09
in General
by Admin

Driven to Distraction

 

Over this side of the Atlantic, you may have missed it, but this week, "the greatest show on earth" went out to 111 million Americans. As always, it seemed the event was as much about the commercial break, as it was about the Green Bay Packers 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Indeed, it was here, amongst the six million dollar-a-minute commercials that we found a good example of a trend in the way driving technology seems to be going.

 

The American car  manufacturer, Chevrolet, used their precious seconds to advertise a new bit of  technology on their "Cruze" model that allows the driver to listen to their Facebook updates whilst at the wheel, it got us  to thinking about driving distractions and whether it's ever really safe to  be doing anything else when sat behind the wheel.

Research under taken by  Heriot-Watt university academics reveals that although the main cause of  accidents at the wheel, through distraction, is having unruly children in the  back seat, it was closely followed by mobile phones with snacking placing  third. Alarmingly, 52% of motorists asked had used a phone while driving, 40%  had typed out a text.


The Transport Research  Laboratory suggests texting to be riskier than driving while under the influence  of alcohol or drugs. This is something wee urge our learner drivers and all  road users to be pay close attention to – given that it is new drivers who are  the most likely to reach for their phone. The research suggested that reaction  times whilst texting diminished by 35%, compared with 12% when under the  influence of alcohol and 35% in those that had taken cannabis.
 
With mobile phone technology becoming more and more sophisticated, surely the problem looks set  to increase in the near future? Perhaps Chrysler have the answer to the problem  with their "audio-facebook" feature but is thisstill ultimately a distraction  and a step down the wrong path? Is there ever a good excuse to take your  attention off the road, even for Facebook?


RED Driving School urges  all drivers to pay full attention to the road ahead and their surrounding  environment, to ensure all road users and passengers are as safe as possible. Any other activity that demands attention should ultimately be avoided, whether it be a mobile phone, a sandwich-on-the-go or a new piece of technology. Better  safe than sorry.

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