Are We Driven To Distraction On Our Roads?

Everyone knows it’s impossible to keep your eyes on the road at all times. But revolutionary eye tracking technology shows that drivers take their eyes off the road every nine seconds, which could explain many previously unexplainable car accidents. A new study that used eye-monitoring equipment has revealed that drivers spend 18 per cent of their time behind the wheel not looking at the road at all.

The results emerged after the researchers took 100 drivers and recorded where their eyes focused during a 22 minute drive through a city. The new study used the latest eye-tracking technology to record drivers’ eye movements, participants of the experiment wore special glasses that monitored the exact focus of the eye by tracking even the smallest movements. The experiment was filmed so that researchers could establish exactly what drivers are focusing their vision on.

The study found that on average drivers spend around 18 per cent of their time behind the wheel not watching the road.  When drivers are not looking at the road ahead, they tend to gaze into the sky, the scenery around them adverts by the side of the road and other non-driving related distractions. Those who use satnav devices spend 22 per cent of their time with their attention diverted from the road. They spend 12 per cent of their time looking at their satnavs and the other 10 per cent of the time focusing on other distractions. On average drivers in the UK take their eyes off the road every 9 seconds.

The average driver only spends 3.2 per cent of their total journey time checking their mirrors whilst a massive 7 per cent spend their time looking at buildings, scenery and the sky.

Many drivers are also distracted by engaging in dangerous behaviours, such as fiddling with the radio or changing a cd, drinking a drink or eating a snack, changing a satellite navigation device, and using a mobile phone to make calls and send texts.

When you think about the actions you take when behind the wheel, many are guilty of being distracted in one way or another. Whether you are simply changing your radio station, pressing a button or taking your eyes off the road for a split moment, you are putting yourself and others in danger. Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle related accidents. 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes are the result of some kind of driver distraction.

Driver distractions reduce your awareness to your driving environment, your decision making process and your driving performance. Keep yourself and others driver around you safe, be safe this New Year and don’t be another statistic, make driving safety a priority. After all by simply changing your cd or taking a sip of your drink whilst behind the wheel could be the difference between a safe journey and a fatal accident.

Keep your mind on your driving, your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times, by taking a few precautions when driving could help you and other road users around you stay alive.

This post was written by Emily Lockey on behalf of Accident Express specialists in quality vehicle repairs.