- February 12, 2013
Driver Distractions – What Increases Your Risk On The Road?
The very nature of the word ‘accident’ suggests something that happens to us that is beyond our control; a freak incident that you couldn’t prepare or plan for that occurs out of the blue.
When it comes to road traffic accidents, this is certainly true. From another road user behaving recklessly through to extreme weather conditions such as unnoticeable black ice can result in a car accident.
Anything which poses a distraction to those in charge of a vehicle can also constitute cause for an accident and the below examples are common things that cause distractions which lead to accidents.
One of the worst offenders is the mobile phone – laws were changed due to the number of accidents that were happening with people using their phone at the wheel in the last decade. Unfortunately, some people ignore these laws, with dire consequences.
Hands-free kits allow mobile answering of calls whilst driving but any physical operation of the phone is illegal and can result in a large fine, points on the licence and a possible ban depending on the severity.
Another gadget that can be as much of a hindrance as it is a help are satellite navigation devices. These can draw attention away from the road and lead to hazardous situations. They can also take you down unfamiliar roads which may not be in the best state for the conditions, e.g. country lanes when it is icy.
Common sense should always be adhered to when using a sat-nav and it is sometimes safer and more effective to plan a route in advance by using a map.
With most modern cars having extremely capable sound systems coming as standard, and some high end models being kitted out with setups that would please even the most fussy audiophile, listening to music as you drive (or are stuck in traffic) can be a great pleasure.
However, it can also cause problems if you get too involved singing along or take your attention away from the road by looking to change tracks or CDs whilst on the move. Listening to music too loudly can prevent you from hearing the sirens of emergency vehicles and even act as a distraction to other vehicles – causing further problems.
Of course risks don’t just come from gadgets and people can prove just as big a distraction. Holding a conversation with passengers, arguing or admiring scenic views which they have commented on can all put you at risk of accident. In addition to this, anything which occurs outside of your car – such as the erratic behaviour of other road users or pedestrians – can also form a distraction.
Keeping your eyes on the road and focusing on your action is essential when driving and one habit which many people do not stick to as rigidly as they should. Large numbers of people are involved in accidents after ‘rubbernecking’ i.e. looking at the roadside damage of other vehicles involved in a collision – highlighting just how prevalent driver distractions are.
If you have been involved in a car accident it is important you seek the necessary reparation. Click here if you require further information on the steps you can take to seek compensation.