New study claims UK drivers have millions of accidents because they take their eyes off the road every nine seconds!Wed, 17/05/2017
Getting distracted is part of being human, but when you’re behind the wheel it’s hugely important to remain vigilant for the safety of both yourself and other road users.
Rob Hull, The Mail Online, reports:
'I didn't see you.'
It's a common response given by drivers when asked by others why they've just collided with their vehicle.
And a new study claims it's the reason why 28 per cent of all motorists have been involved in a collision, because drivers don't look at the road ahead or don't correctly check their blind spot.
Direct Line said failure to look is why 11 million drivers have a crash on their motoring record in the UK.
While failing to check the blind spot - when a driver is hidden from your wing-mirror view - is a core part of the issue, the insurer said it was individuals' willingness to let their eyes deviate away from the road that was causing the most accidents.
It said that nearly a fifth of motorists (18 per cent) have been involved in a shunt with another vehicle because their eyes had drifted off the road due to distraction or boredom.
A further 10 per cent were caused by drivers who hadn't conducted the relevant over-the-shoulder check before manoeuvring.
According to a survey carried out on 2,005 UK drivers, 24 per cent of men have had a crash because they weren't watching the road ahead while 11 per cent of women caused a collision for the same reason.
To identify the levels of concentration at the wheel observed by motorists, Direct Line commissioned a study where psychologists and human-computer interface experts measured how much time motorists spend not looking where they should.
Using eye-tracking technology on a panel of 100 British motorists, it found that drivers spend 18 per cent of their journeys not watching the road - that's the equivalent of not looking where you're going at the wheel every nine seconds.
The dangers are more pronounced when the other party involved is a pedestrian or cyclists rather than another vehicle.
According to Direct Line, three million drivers have been involved in accidents with pedestrians and cyclists, simply because they had taken their eyes off the road.
The eye-tracking study highlighted this, finding that drivers failed to identify 22 per cent of the cyclists on the road during the test despite them being in a clear view up ahead.
Direct Line has urged motorists to take advantage of new safety features fitted to cars which monitor the surroundings of the vehicle and alert the driver or automatically respond to mitigate an accident.
Nick Reid, head of automotive technology at the insurer, said: 'Letting our eyes drift away from the road while we drive or not checking our blind spot before manoeuvring is dangerous at best and potentially fatal at worst.
'We urge drivers to consider not just themselves but other road users and pedestrians when driving, as ‘I just didn’t see them’ is not a valid excuse for any collision.
'While nothing should replace driver vigilance, increased take up of driver assistance technologies such blind spot detection, pedestrian and cyclist warning and automatic braking systems could help reduce the number of unnecessary accidents on our roads.'
If you’re easily distracted, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of taking your eyes of the road. Firstly, put your phone out of reach to reduce the risk of notifications distracting you. You can also turn down the music in your car and ask passengers to stay quiet and calm to enable you to focus solely on the road.