Common driver distractions that cause road accidents

It’s easy to become distracted whilst driving, and unfortunately there are many distractions around us that could lead to a road traffic accident.

Here are some of the most common driver distractions:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Mobile phone use – talking, texting or accessing the internet
  • Applying make-up
  • Tiredness
  • Speaking to/looking after kids and pets
  • Playing with electronics – MP3 player, stereo or sat nav
  • Looking at roadside diversions or hazards

Any one of these could cause an accident, and some are more likely to distract you than others.

Using a mobile phone whilst driving

Worryingly, more than 70% of young adults say they can safely send a text and drive at the same time – yet you are diverting your attention for around 5 seconds to send a text message.

Talking on a mobile phone whilst driving, whether hand-held or using a hands-free kit causes mental distraction, which means you’ll be more likely to tailgate the vehicle in front, you could fail to see hazards and road signs, you’ll feel more stressed and frustrated and your reaction time will be slower.

Since 2003, it has been illegal in the UK to use mobile phones whilst driving unless using a hands-free kit. This includes use of a phone for sending texts or accessing the internet.

Other distractions whilst driving

Eating and drinking whilst driving is never a good idea – you could spill scalding liquid onto yourself or be forced to drive one handed due to greasy, sticky fingers. If you’re planning to eat or drink, it’s a good idea to pull over and take a break, or wait until you reach your destination.

Kids and pets can be very distracting in the car, but you should always ensure that kids are strapped in and pets are wearing an appropriate harness, to prevent your attention from being diverted for too long.

Audio CD’s, books and other entertainment such as family games can keep the kids amused during long journeys and prevent them from distracting the driver, which could cause an accident.

Accident Advice Helpline

If you’re involved in a road traffic accident that is the fault of another party, you could be eligible to claim for compensation, particularly if the other driver was distracted by something.

Accident Advice Helpline are personal injury compensation specialists, and our advice line is open 24/7 – so why not give us a call for a confidential chat about your situation?

We’ll usually be able to tell you within 30 seconds whether you have a viable claim, and our 100% no win, no fee* service ensures you’ll keep more of your money.

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