1.2 million People die each year as a result of road accidents; that averages out at one person every fifteen minutes. This emphasises the importance of maintaining concentration at all times and not being distracted.
MoneySupermarket.com has therefore conducted research to find the ten biggest distractions which motorists face when they are behind the wheel:
Just managing to get into the top ten with it being named by 1% of those questioned as a driving distraction is Twitter.
Tweeting or checking other people’s Twitter updates is surely even more dangerous than talking on the phone when driving, something which is illegal and those caught conducting this action will be issued with financial penalties.
Proof of this came with the death of celebrity plastic surgeon Dr Frank Ryan, who lost his life in a car accident last year. It is believed that he had been tweeting at the time of the accident.
175 million people world wide currently have a Facebook account according to statistics released by the company. It is therefore perhaps surprising that only 2% of those questioned admitted to having used Facebook while driving.
This figure is likely to grow in the coming years as the number of people who own phones that have social networking capabilities increases.
It appears that motorists are a vain bunch, with 5% admitting to having applied cosmetic products while driving.
However, another survey by Lovelyish.com revealed that nearly 1/5th of female motorists regularly apply make-up while driving. The real number of motorists who are actually guilty of falling foul of this distraction is therefore likely to be far higher.
Perhaps the most shocking finding from this survey is that 5% of motorists have started to fall asleep while behind the wheel at least once in their lives. This not only endangers the driver’s life, but also the lives of fellow road-users and even pedestrians.
You should therefore avoid driving while suffering from fatigue if you feel that falling asleep is a very real possibility. It simply isn’t worth endangering your own life or that of others.
Social networking applications on mobile phones have already helped Facebook and Twitter make it onto this list for the first time.
It is therefore perhaps unsurprising that the more established mobile phone medium of texting has also made an appearance; with 16% of motorists admitting to having committed this crime.
5. Being a spectator
21% of drivers admitted to having taken their eyes off the road in order to take a closer look at an accident involving other road users despite the fact that it greatly increases the statistical likelihood of becoming involved in a road accident themselves.
This is also the reason why there tends to be such heavy traffic congestion when passing an accident scene, even after the vehicles involved have been safely moved to the side of the road.
So far mobile phones have been responsible for the presence of social networks and texting on the list. It is therefore unsurprising to find that 23% of those surveyed admitted to having made or taken phone calls while driving.
Motorists who are caught using their phones while driving by police are liable to be issued with financial penalties and will also have points added to their driving records.
Over 51% of the motorists surveyed admitted that they regularly consume food while driving.
This is something that people don’t generally consider to be dangerous, but it does require the driver to only use one hand in order to operate the steering wheel, gear stick and hand brake.
A similar number of people also admitted to drinking while behind the wheel. It should be noted that this does not include drinks of the alcoholic variety.
Nevertheless, this still requires the driver to dilute their concentration on the road and use one less hand in order to control the car.
The MoneySupermarket.com survey revealed that the biggest distraction motorists currently face is music; which was named by 61% of those surveyed.
This has been an issue for many years thanks to cars being equipped with radios and CD/cassette players. However, there are now an increasing number of motorists who are using their iPods or iPhones to supply the music as they drive along. This is more dangerous as it requires more of the driver’s attention to operate.