Driving requires full concentration. Anything that takes your eyes, ears or mind off the road – whether it be your phone, your passengers or even your lunch – increases the chance of being involved in a crash.
A study using brain scanning found that driving while talking on a phone (hands-free) draws nearly 40% of mental resources away from the task of driving, causing drivers to miss visual and audio cues that would have avoided a crash. In fact, the same parts of the brain that deal with spactial sense, navigation and visual information are the same parts that are lost to a phone call. Yet, many drivers ignore the evidence.
There are common myths about driver distraction, but they are easily busted by the facts.
Inattention, rather than manual dexterity, is a crucial factor in increasing the risk of a crash while using a mobile phone.
It’s illegal to touch your mobile phone when your car is stationary, but not parked.
If your eyes are off the road for just two seconds, a vehicle moving at 60km/h travels more than 33 metres – that’s the equivalent of driving a third of a rugby field with your eyes closed.
Myth and Fact! It all depends on the passenger. Generally, good passengers act as a second set of eyes. They can spots hazards on the road and modify their conversation if the driver needs to respond to a traffic situation. However, distracting passengers can be equally as dangerous.
Here's a few things you can do to stay focussed and avoid driver distraction.