A report shows that inattention in the traffic flow can explain 61% of all fatal accidents. Inattention occurs because we get distracted while we are driving. In fact, the driver of a car gets distracted around 25-30% of the time they are behind the wheel. Half of the time it is due to conversations with other passengers in the car, while the rest of the time it is due to other circumstances. In this article, we will look at inattention and the things that distract us when driving.
How far we drive blindly for four seconds
If you are inattentive for four seconds at 50 mph, you are driving blindly for nearly 300 feet. Just four seconds of inattention can determine whether or not you are involved in an accident. Keep your eyes on the road and orient yourself in the traffic.
Talking with other people, whether it is with a passenger in the car or on the telephone, affects your concentration. On the other hand, however, a study shows that having a passenger with you in the car can increase safety as this person can help detect any changes in the traffic.
Using the telephone
If you use the telephone while you are driving, the risk of crashing is about four times greater. Phone calls in particular are extremely distracting. However, this risk decreases if you use a hands-free solution while talking on the telephone. Using a smartphone requires a lot of your attention as it does not have buttons, therefore it is not possible to feel around for the buttons you should press.
Operating the car radio is not associated with a significantly greater risk of an accident occurring. However, if you actively choose specific tracks, the risk of having an accident is doubled. If you are trying to save time by eating in the car, this also entails risk. The risk of being involved in an accident increases approximately 1.6 times. Another time-saving activity some people – primarily women – perform in the car is putting on make-up. The risk of an accident here is three times greater.
Everything by the roadside
Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles the likelihood of a crash occurring. In the case of young and new motorists, this risk increases fourfold. It is irrelevant whether it is road signs, accidents or a beautiful view that steals your attention. What matters is the simple fact that your attention is taken away from the road.
What you can do
First and foremost, it is important to keep the law at the forefront of your mind and focus on the road. It is illegal to use a telephone or other equipment such as a GPS or tablet that is not securely mounted. This carries a penalty of GBP 200 and 6 points on your driving licence. If you have had a driving licence for two years or less, your licence will be confiscated. Thus, you should use equipment, for example, a smartphone, that is securely mounted.
Numerous help systems are available to help increase safety in the traffic flow. Helps systems in cars can be, for example, cruise control or adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency brakes, driving lane assistance and road sign reading. These help systems are standard equipment or equipment that can be fitted in many new cars.
A traffic alarm from Saphe also helps increase traffic safety. It alerts you in the event of accidents, hazards on the road, cars in the hard shoulder, school routes and traffic cameras. Saphe Drive and Saphe One + also have Crash Detect, which sends alerts rapidly to the nearest Saphe users in the event of you having an accident yourself.