We all know that in an ideal world our eyes and minds would be 100% on our driving, 100% of the time.
However, in the real world we are easily distracted by all sorts of things – from children or pets in the back seat, the radio, mobile phones, other road users and, increasingly, in-car technology, such as infotainment systems.
In fact, a recent IAM RoadSmart Twitter poll found that just under half (44.4%) of respondents said they find infotainment systems distracting, while 42.1% found other road users distracting; and research by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line insurance found that 91% of drivers believe adjusting their satnav is a distraction.
Distractions impair our ability to react quickly and could have serious consequences for you, the driver, other passengers - plus of course other road users and pedestrians.
The law also recognises the danger that being distracted while driving can pose. While it’s been illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone since 2003, in March this year the law changed yet again in response to the fact that mobile devices are now capable of so many more things than making and receiving calls and text messages.
The update now means it’s also illegal to unlock any handheld smart device to pretty much anything on it, including accessing the internet, using any app, checking notifications, or accessing any stored data, such as files, playlists, photos, or messages. There are exemptions are when you need to use your phone in an emergency, to make a contactless payment for goods or services – such as at a road toll, and also using a phone for navigation. However, it MUST be in a cradle, not your hand.
Here are some IAM RoadSmart tips to help you avoid distractions while you’re driving:
Still not sure? IAM RoadSmart’s 75 minute on road module provides you with one to one training around the most effective ways to expect the unexpected and remain focused on the drive. Find out more here.