New research has revealed the obvious – nearly all drivers become deadly drivers when distracted. The research, conducted by the Sydney-based George Institute for International Health and The University of Western Australia, points the finger at kids, mobile phones, CD players and other in car devices.
The research found
- 72% of drivers display a lack of concentration.
- 69% adjust in-vehicle equipment.
- 58% are distracted by outside events, objects or people.
- 40% talk to passengers.
- 16% confessed to regularly sending text messages while driving.
Young females were the worst offenders. With over 50% aged 21-29 confessing to the use of their phone when driving in the last month, compared with 44% of young men.
These days, in an average car, systems range from complex DVD players to in car bluetooth systems as well as satellite navigation systems. Not exactly leaving drivers with much time to concentrate on whats really important – Driving.
The research found that Australian drivers were distracted once every six minutes on average, leading to driving errors and, essentially, actual crashes. In order to combat this, a new TV ad campaign will hit the air waves trying to get the message across.
Unfortunately, the campaigners have tried to link this sort of behaviour with speeding, arguing that being distracted is just as dangerous to society as speeding. We disagree. Distraction is far worse than the occasional 5km/hr over the limit.
“Driving is a complicated task that requires full attention. Being distracted for even a second can lead to a crash. The community no longer accepts actions that put people’s lives in danger – whether that’s drink driving, speeding or hoon behaviour.
Nor do road users accept drivers talking on hand-held mobile phones or failing to concentrate while behind the wheel.” Anti-Distraction Campaigners claim
Lack of concentration is the single biggest cause of accidents on Australian roads, the obvious cases occur when drivers find themselves in the seat of a vehicle they are unfamiliar with.
Unfortunately though, proving that someone was fiddling with their MP3 player is much harder than simply blaming speed as the reason and installing more speed cameras. And until Police have the power and are forced to go after BAD drivers and not just SPEEDING drivers – not much will change.
Once the state governments stop using Speed as an excuse for our increasing road toll, and open their eyes to the reality of the problem, only then can we move forward.
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