The most common reason for crashing your car is being distracted, and is it any wonder when there are so many things to divert your attention?
Even the most accomplished multi-tasker can focus on only so many things – but then driving already involves constant multi-tasking, so why make it even harder for yourself?
It’s a scenario that Chris Jones knows all about. He’s an accident investigator in the south west of England, and he’s had to piece together some pretty grim crashes. He comments: “A disproportionate number of the crashes I have to investigate are caused by young drivers, with inattention a key factor in most of them. It’s this, combined with a lack of experience, that proves such an explosive cocktail.
A disproportionate number of the crashes I have to investigate are caused by young drivers, with inattention a key factor in most of them
“Sometimes I have an injured occupant or two who can help me work out what went wrong, but too often I’m called to a crash scene where there are no survivors and there are several unknowns. In such instances, it’s inattention that tends to come out as the most common reason for a collision.
"When I’m sifting through the charred remains of a supermini, I often think to myself – can switching the radio station or sending a text really be worth such a high price? Of course it can’t, but there’s no second chance for the drivers who get it wrong”.
If you’re convicted of careless driving or driving without due care and attention, you can be fined up to five grand and get 3-9 points. Kill somebody and you can be imprisoned for up to 14 years and given an unlimited fine. You’ll automatically be banned for two years as well.
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According to Volvo, 93% of crashes are caused by some kind of driver inattention, and in nearly half of those collisions, the driver was so distracted they didn’t take any kind of evasive action before impact.
Face the music
The music you listen to can have a massive effect on how you drive. according to confused.com, classical music is likely to make you drive erratically, hip-hop makes you drive aggressively and you’ll probably drive too fast if you listen to heavy metal. Fast beats can lead to you focusing more on the music than on the road, while listening to music you don’t like can cause stress and distraction which can cause you to drive more erratically.
The most common distractions
• Texting - 51%
• Talking on phone - 45%
• Changing radio/CD player - 40.4%
• Staring at an accident - 39.8%
• Eating or drinking - 37%
• Children in the car - 36%
• Chatting to a passenger - 32.3%
• Road rage - 32%
• Having an argument - 31%
• Lighting a cigarette - 29%
*According to an Autoglass survey of 3000 drivers