Motorists are driven to distraction by old technology as well as new, a survey warns.
Although in-car ‘infotainment’ is becoming more and more popular, some drivers are taking their attention away from the job at hand by fiddling with radio stations, or even just dealing with difficult passengers.
That’s according to a poll of more than 18,000 motorists, which also lists eating sandwiches and having a drink among the main distractions for drivers.
Such distractions are leading to near-misses or full-blown road traffic accidents, the poll participants admit.
Government figures show that driver distraction was associated with at least 88 deaths in 2012.
Operating a sat nav and talking on a mobile phone predictably made the list of the main attention-snatchers, although actually placed below those incidents involving “old technology”.
Texting and emailing were also identified in the AA/Populus survey as sure-fire ways for drivers to lose their sense of awareness when behind the wheel.
But almost all of those polled – 87% – recognise it is the driver alone who is responsible for making sure that new technology does not divert the eyes away from the road.
AA president Edmund King says the dangers posed by technologies should not be forgotten despite the seemingly greater risk posed by human-influenced distraction.
He says: “The figures for sat navs and mobile phones give a warning for what might happen in the future as ‘infotainment’ and other technology become more commonplace.”
Speaking of the “temptation factor” to use such gadgets when behind the wheel, he said it is even more crucial for manufacturers to add ‘smart’ features to in-car equipment which renders it unusable when a car is moving.
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Date Published: July 23, 2014
Author: David Brown