Lifestyle

Driving distractions are a deadly issue

The best advice is, don’t use a mobile phone while you’re driving. In fact if your engine is on, turn your mobile off.
The best advice is, don’t use a mobile phone while you’re driving. In fact if your engine is on, turn your mobile off. Chris McCormack

HANDS up anyone who would like to have more hours in the day?

For the vast majority of people the answer would most definitely be yes.

These days we seem to be busier than ever before, which means we're constantly rushing around everywhere just to get things done. The chances are that in the future this situation is only going to get more intense.

Unfortunately, with the pressures of daily life being what they are, it seems that we're more or less expected to be able to do more than one thing at a time.

This "multi-tasking" culture also continues when we get behind the wheel and that's a big problem.

Various research studies and road crash data suggest that inattention is one of the leading factors when it comes to traffic crashes. In fact it rates second place after disobeying the road rules. Clearly it is a major problem.

A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States indicated that inattention was a contributing factor in about 25% of police reported road crashes. Even so, it's not something that most people would generally consider as a risk when they get behind the wheel.  

Like fatigue, it's harder to pin down because we are dealing with individual risk perception and human behaviour. It's also not something that you can easily enforce, so dealing with it really comes down to better education.

So what is inattention? It basically means being distracted from the task at hand. I'm sure we've all seen other drivers, and possibly even ourselves, doing things that distract us from the driving task.

Russell White.
Russell White.

Programming the satellite navigation unit, putting in a new CD, day dreaming, checking out attractive pedestrians, writing a note in the diary, yelling at the kids, looking at the street map, getting dressed, putting on makeup, eating, drinking and even reading the paper are just a few examples.

Each of these activities takes our focus off the primary task which is driving the vehicle.

But by far the worst offender of them all would have to be a driver using a mobile phone. Research has proven that using a mobile phone while you're driving is a major distraction that will significantly increase your risk of having a crash.

A mobile conversation takes your attention off driving and will reduce your ability behind the wheel significantly. You'll find it more difficult to control your speed and lane position. It will also reduce your eye movements, increase your reaction time and make you less responsive to road hazards.

This applies to any mobile conversation regardless of whether it is hands free or not.

Sending or receiving a text message is worse still. It has all the downsides we've already covered and will dramatically increase the time that the person has their eyes off the road.  

The best advice is, don't use a mobile phone while you're driving. In fact if your engine is on, turn your mobile off.

When you're behind the wheel you need to focus on just one job, driving the car.

Everything else is a distraction that could have catastrophic consequences.

As much as we'd like to, we can't split our concentration between two tasks, we're just not programmed that way.  Remember that it's not possible for us to do two things at once without compromising your focus. Doing so means that you are a crash going somewhere to happen.

Russell White's experience in the driver training industry spans more than 24 years. He is widely regarded as one of Australia's leading road safety advocates. His business offers the complete range of driver training and fleet management services, visit driversafety.com.au

Topics:  cars cars news motoring russell white



Folau returns for Rugby Tens

TOURNAMENT FACE: Israel Folau will return to the ground where he has enjoyed much success over the years, as ambassador for the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens at Suncorp Stadium.

Ipswich star to headline global event

WATCH: Baby python no match for big green tree frog

Amphibian and reptile showdown in Ipswich

Local Partners

Gatton family claims game show success

A GATTON family walked away with more than $11,000 after an exciting three-night run on game show Family Feud.


Comedian Damien Power becomes big hit on The Project

BIG NAME: Toowoomba comedian Damien Power will perform his new show Utopia at the Brisbane Comedy Festival in March.

The Toowoomba comedian is preparing for his most hilarious show yet

10 things to do this Australia Day

Thirsty Merc will perform live at the Racehorse Hotel on Australia Day.

Competitions for the best mullet, cane toad races, zorbing and more.

Chopper's Republic of Ipswich

HELLO: Chopper will perform his new show Anzakistan at the Racehorse Hotel next month.

Popular character returns

'Allo 'Allo! star Gorden Kaye has died

Gorden Kaye, pictured in Brisbane in 2007, found fame as a cafe owner Rene Artois in the iconic British television series ‘Allo ‘Allo!

ACTOR Gorden Kaye, from BBC comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo!, has died.

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Accusers become accused in tenants from hell story

SPEAKING OUT: Scott Marsen says he doesn't want people to feel sorry for the couple who trashed his home.

Couple whose house was trashed accused of doing the same

New food precinct pitch for Yamanto

NEIGHBOURHOOD CENTRE: An artist's impression of a new centre at Yamanto submitted to the council this month along with development plans.

A new business centre has been proposed for Yamanto.

$6 million upgrade for busy intersection

AVID Property Group invested $6 million in connecting its residential estate to Ipswich and Springfield.

Project includes dedicated bus bay, traffic lights and added lanes

Design tenders called for blue chip Rosewood Library

NEXT STAGE: Design tenders have been called for the new Rosewood Library.

Massive $6.5 million investment bearing fruit

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!