You will not have to look far when you are out on the road to see plenty of examples of distracted driving.  People are texting, talking on the phone, eating their lunch, putting their makeup on, swigging back their coffee – in fact you name it and someone will be doing it behind the wheel on Britain’s roads.  Insurance companies have not been slow to notice the rampant inability to concentrate on the road by many of the country’s drivers.  In America, you can be rewarded for concentrating on the road and insurance companies there claim to know how many times their insured touch their phones on a journey. 

Here are the top ten distractions that are claiming our attention when we should be watching the road and lead to accidents that can claim lives.

  1. Smoking distractions

    come in at only 1% as people light up, smoke and put their fags out. 

  2. Moving objects

    Moving things in the car like an insect or pets can be a distraction.  This kind of distraction is reported at just 1% although some people think this might be under-reported.

  3. Operating the controls of the car

    Maybe surprisingly, fiddling with things seat belts and mirrors accounts for around 1% of accidents. 

  4. Adjusting climate controls or audio

    Adjusting, even briefly, the radio or the A/C setting has accounted for some traffic fatalities.

  5. Drinking or eating

    Most cars have cup holders—but using them can often distract.  Accidents from munching or drinking at the wheel account for about 2% of accidents.

  6. Using or even reaching for a mobile phone or other device brought into the car

    We know using devices like phones can distract us. But maybe we didn’t know that just reaching out for one has caused around 2% of serious accidents. Even holding a sat nav or other device can land you with a fine, use hands-free options to keep your mind on the task.

  7. Other people in the car

    Other occupants are responsible for 5% of accidents as they distract us from driving.  

  8. Something going on outside the car

    Looking at someone or something outside like an accident or at people on the pavement or in other cars distracts worse than a passenger causing around 7% of accidents. 

  9. Mobile phone use

    This accounts for the second most common cause of death when distracted driving is the cause of an accident.  Even the hands-free options can distract us and accidents from this cause are about 12%

  10. So what is the number one cause for distraction? It is letting our mind wander!

    Concentration on the road lessens as our thoughts engulf us and that can lead to a crash and often the death of the driver or someone else.  That figure is a frightening 62%. 

Distracted driving, who’s worst, men or women?

These figures were actually put together by an American insurance company but they are as true on this side of the pond as they are over there!  So who’s worst, men or women?  A survey of 427 respondents, with roughly half men and half women, came up with some interesting results.   All the survey subjects were between 18 and 60 years of age.

  • Women, it turns out, find it the most difficult to ignore a text.  67% of women said they would reply to that text against 62% of men who would text back. 
  • A whopping 77% of both men and women shockingly admitted to using their phone while they were driving.  Not cool and I am sure not OWO readers!
  • About 11% more women admitted to eating and drinking while they were driving.
  • Although over 90% of drivers said that their phones had never caused them to be in an accident but 6% did say that they had been in accidents because they or someone else was on a mobile phone. 

Many mobile phones do silence themselves while you’re driving so don’t override that.  Make a ‘no eating in the car’ rule.  Your car interior will thank you for it.  Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents, instead, use time in the car to enjoy music so you’re free to concentrate on the road and what’s going on around you.

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