Got your attention? IAM RoadSmart launches new driver distraction video starring GT racer Darren Turner

Posted on 09/06/16 |

IAM RoadSmart has taken the wraps off its latest video advising of the consequences of drivers getting distracted behind the wheel of a car.

The light hearted video stars former McLaren Formula 1 test driver and current Aston Martin GT racer Darren Turner, and shows him at the wheel of a racing simulator trying not to get distracted by a small child, a dog and a ringing mobile phone as he tackles a challenging race circuit.

Tying in with the launch of the video, IAM RoadSmart is offering its Advanced Driver Course (formerly known as Skill for Life) with a 10% discount until the end of August.

In addition anyone buying an Advanced Driver Course will be entered into a prize draw to win a session on a state-of-the-art racing simulator at Base Performance Simulators (BPS) in Banbury for themselves and a friend – with an expert from BPS on hand to offer guidance.

IAM RoadSmart’s video highlights an issue which is proving to be an increasing problem.

Figures from the Department for Transport in 2013 found 2,995 cases where distraction in the vehicle was listed as a contributory factor to accidents (reference 1).

IAM RoadSmart’s report The Battle for Attention (reference 2) further highlighted the extent of this issue and the most recent Department of Transport study shows  1.6% of  drivers in England and Scotland were observed using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving.

And IAM RoadSmart’s award-winning Safely Home campaign (reference 3) surveyed 1,500 drivers with one in 10 admitting to causing a crash because they were distracted.

The survey found the most common distractions were:

-        Children in the car (29%)

-        Changing the radio channel (27%)

-        Back seat drivers (26%)

-        Mobile phone use (24%)

-        Satellite-navigation system (15%)

-        Attractive pedestrians, drivers or passengers (14%)

The new video aims to highlight a serious issue but present it in an amusing way, showing that even a professional racing driver could lose concentration and potentially have a crash.

Darren said: “I thought it would be easy to ignore a child or a barking dog, and easily be able to take a phone call and keep driving safely. But this isn’t the case. Losing concentration for even two seconds could lead to pretty serious consequences

“If a professional driver can have their attention diverted, anyone can.”

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, added: “No matter how good a driver you are it is very easy to have your focus shifted away from the job in hand.

“We all have things on our mind, places to go and things to do – it’s only human. But it is so important to realise driving is a full-time task and not one to be combined with other things. Multi-tasking is expected in many walks of life, but it simply doesn’t apply on the road – no one can do two things at once if one of them is driving.

“So we are delighted to offer a discount off our Advanced Driving Course, and help people become great all-round drivers.”

The new video can be seen on IAM RoadSmart’s Youtube channel. You can watch it here:

To book an Advanced Driving Course, normally £149, with the 10% discount call 0300 303 1134 quoting reference RACE10.


Notes to editors:

The 10% discount applies to IAM RoadSmart’s Advanced Driver Course only booked by 31 August by phone. All people booking on this course during this period will be entered into a free prize draw to win one hour of simulator time for themselves and their nominated guest at Base Performance Simulators in Banbury. Date of session is subject to availability.

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IAM RoadSmart press office – 020 8996 9777 – 

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IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website