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What’s driving you to distraction?

What’s driving you to distraction?

We are all so busy in our modern lives; we are constantly interrupted by e-mails, text messages, Facebook notifications alongside the usual mayhem of children and pets!  This doesn’t stop at home though all these distractions can follow us into the car.  Here at Rivervale leasing we are taking a look at what impact these distractions have on our ability to drive………

In the newspapers stories crop up from time to time about people being fined for being distracted behind the wheel.  Recently Roy Chubby Brown was fined and given 4 points on his licence after he was seen reading a newspaper.  One Nursery Nurse was fined £60 for eating an apple.  A gentleman seen driving along with his hands behind his head was banned for a year, one driver was seen driving at 70 mph and shaving  and one lorry driver found time to brush his teeth whilst on a dual carriageway!  We have all become masters of multitasking using every minute to its full potential as we cram more and more into everyday life.  Most of us think if we are using a hand free device we can safely communicate while driving – the law might see it this way but is talking hands free really any safer?

If Neuroscientists from Strasbourg university are to be believed the answer is no……….

Scientists pulled over 3,500 drivers and questioned the on what they had just driven past from other vehicles, sign to monuments they may have passed.  Overall those who had been using a mobile, even hands free, recalled 30% less information than other drivers.  Mobile users were even worse when asked to recall something that required sustained attention such as reading a flashing sign – recall here was a massive 50% lower than other motorists.  Included in the questioning were decoy questions about events or sights that did not occur or could not have been seen because they were made up.  Worryingly 40 of drivers using mobiles agreed to seeing these decoys compared to only 9 % of the other drivers.

Back in the laboratory it has been found that drivers on the phone using a hands free kit make 50% less eye movements than those not engaged in conversation on the phone – so it’s easy to see how talking on the phone will lead you to perceive less of the environment around you than those not on the phone.

Drivers hate to see others on the phone anyway, in a survey of 2,002 drivers 47% said that talking or texting on a phone was there most hated bad driving habit ……..  So maybe we should all go back to a simpler time when all we did in our car was drive!

The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.


3 October 2014
Written by Rivervale
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