The 5 things most likely to distract you when you’re driving

Being distracted while you’re driving can be fatal. As Institute of Advanced Motorists chief executive Simon Best recently said: “Being distracted can have serious consequences, it could mean that you’re less likely to see that cyclist or child running out until it’s too late.”

It’s easy to take your eyes off the road when driving and a new poll has found the most common causes of driver distraction. Keep reading to find out what the top five motorist distractions are and some top tips for dealing with the most common issue…

Three in ten drivers admit to being distracted by their children

A new survey of 1,500 drivers from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and Vision Critical has found that children in the car are the number one distraction for drivers. The research found that almost three in ten drivers (29 per cent) admit that their children are their biggest distraction while driving.

The poll also found that busy lifestyles and a constant need to multitask also feature heavily on the list of major driver distractions. Mobile phone use (24 per cent) and texting and social media updates (10 per cent) also featured on the list with almost a quarter (23 per cent) of younger drivers (aged 18-24) finding this a distraction.

The top 5 driving distractions are:

  1. Children in the car (29 per cent)
  2. Changing the radio channel (27 per cent)
  3. Back seat drivers (26 per cent)
  4. Mobile phones (24 per cent)
  5. Satellite navigation (15 per cent)

The poll also found that one in seven drivers (14 per cent) are distracted by attractive pedestrians, drivers or passengers. Almost a quarter of men (23 per cent) admitted to being distracted by attractive people compared to just three per cent of women.

The IAM say that distractions are ‘a major cause of crashes’. Indeed, the same survey revealed that nine per cent of drivers admitted to a crash because they were distracted. According to police statistics, mobile phone use and other distractions were a factor in up to one hundred and five deaths on our roads in 2013.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “People who think they can multi-task while driving are kidding themselves. If you take your eyes of the road for just two seconds at 30 miles per hour, you’ll travel close to 90 feet, effectively blind.

All drivers develop bad habits over time. The key to reducing distractions and their impact is to learn to look upon your driving as a skill that needs continuous evaluation and improvement.”

The poll found that children top the list of driver distractions. If you take your eyes off the road to deal with your children, keep reading for some tips on how to avoid this.

7 top tips for keeping your kids busy while you’re driving

  1. Try and have a second adult in the car to keep an eye on the children
  2. Have a paper bag in the car in case of sickness
  3. Introduce games that promote and reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver’s direct involvement
  4. Consider a portable games console or an in-car DVD player. These will keep kids occupied for hours
  5. On a long journey make sure you’re organised. Take plenty of food and drink to avoid constant demands from the back seats
  6. Allow extra stops. Find somewhere for children to stretch their legs and let off steam, such as a playground or a park. Forward planning can help you find suitable places to stop
  7. Don’t turn round to deal with fighting kids while you are still driving. Find somewhere safe to stop first

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