Driver distraction tips from the Road Safety Commission of WA.
Driver distraction is the biggest road safety issue confronting car manufacturers and road safety authorities.
How distracting? Well, in 2010 the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found drivers engaged in text messaging on a mobile phone are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes have some form of driver inattention as contributing factors.
And Alberta Transportation in Canada say their studies have found that distracted drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers.
So you can see why it is so important to keep your mind on the job and your eyes on the road.
The West Australian Road Safety Commission has supplied these nine simple tips on how to avoid being a distracted driver;
- Turn off your mobile phone when driving (even if it is a hands-free mobile phone).
- Adjust all vehicle controls (including the radio/CD player) before setting off.
- Turn off your MP3 player when driving.
- Take a break rather than eat, drink, smoke or groom yourself while driving.
- Don’t know the route? Either you or your passenger can check a map before starting the journey to know what lies ahead.
- Ask passengers to be quiet if you are having difficulty concentrating while driving.
- Ensure pets are properly restrained in the vehicle (e.g. using a secured carrier box or pet seat-belt system).
- Recognise what makes you distracted and either avoid engaging in that activity when driving, or find a safe place to pull over and do it.
- Make sure the vehicle’s windscreens and mirrors are clean and unobstructed.