Wednesday, April 08, 2009

So What is it that Distracts You When You Drive?

This was reported in the NZ Herald of 8 April, 2009:

Distractions make modern motoring hazardous

5:00PM Wednesday Apr 08, 2009
The AA says driving requires 100 per cent of anyone's attention.

Shut up, put the sandwich down and keep your eyes on the road.

AA Insurance put the message more politely, but that is the advice emerging from its survey of New Zealand drivers which asked if they ever found themselves distracted from the job at hand.

As expected around half the 3708 people questioned blamed the usual suspects: the radio/CD/MP3 player.

What surprised the insurer was the most common cause of lost concentration (identified by 54 per cent of respondents) was other passengers.

"Gadgets and music are often blamed as dangerous distractions but it may be that the hazard is the one sitting next to you - or arguing in the back seat!" AA deputy general manager Martin Fox said.

"Drivers need to manage the distraction wherever it comes from and it's easy to underestimate how distracting passengers can be."

He said while they were the most frequent issue, passengers still did not match up to cellphones in terms of the degree of distraction.

More than a third of those surveyed said they used cellphones without a hands-free kit, forcing them, in most cases, to remove a hand from the wheel. A further 22 per cent said they often sent text messages while driving.

Eating behind the wheel proved a widespread practice with 54 per cent indulging while reading billboards consumed the attention or a further 34 per cent.

"Really, if you're driving, it should be the only thing you're doing," Mr Fox said.

One anomaly in the statistics was the practice of personal grooming.

Just 8 per cent reported applying make-up, yet 68 per cent said they'd caught others in the act.



Can you think of any other distractions? I can already think of a number of things that I cannot write about!

But some of the worst is when the wife sitting next to me suddenly goes revisiting her shopping expedition and starts citing the items bought and their costs and then the discounts and I am supposed to add, divide, multiply, frationate and factorise and whatever not that is needed. Oh boy that was taxing..But the worst distractions were the fights Survived all this!!! Thank God!!! Somebody's watching me I suppose!!



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