Distraction when driving has always been a risk. But as more and more of us surround ourselves with new technology – from satnav devices to smartphones, so the risk of distraction rises. A UK survey found a 50% increase between 2011 and 2012 in 17 to 24-year-olds using the internet via smartphones while driving.
While exact figures on the number of accidents caused by distraction are not available, a Dutch study estimated that eliminating mobile phone use while driving would have prevented nearly 600 road deaths and hospital admissions in one year alone.
Most distractions can be avoided by good organization. Eat, smoke or make that call before hitting the road, and pull over to deal with children or take a call.
Distraction takes many forms, with some activities stealing the driver’s attention in more ways than one.