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Jonathan Mosley's blog: Distraction at the wheel

Date: 02 May 2018

Jonathan Mosley is sales and marketing director of online driver profiling and e-driver training specialists, E-Training World.

If you watched the BBC news report regarding Ant McPartlin's trial for drink driving, you may have noticed how easily drivers can become distracted.

As a mass of news reporters gathered outside the courtroom, clearly causing passing motorists to look, it resulted in a collision on live TV.

Many drivers still seem to believe its worth the risk to take their eyes off the road to glance at a text, change their playlist, alter their sat-nav or look at what's happening around them - such as rubbernecking on the motorway.

Yet, this BBC footage just goes to show how a momentary glance can lead to a collision, fortunately on this occasion not a serious one.

But imagine if someone had been crossing the road, or a child had stepped out. These moments of distraction can cause serious injury or death - just like lorry driver, Tomasz Kroker, who killed a woman and three children on the A34 when his vehicle ploughed into their stationary car while he was scrolling through music on his mobile phone. He has been jailed for ten years. 

The clear message we have to keep drumming into drivers' minds is that it's never acceptable or safe to take your eyes off the road. Ignore your phone, set up your music and sat-nav before you drive, and if something is happening around you make sure, more than ever, that you are concentrating clearly on the road ahead - especially as its likely other drivers around you will be distracted.

But its not just looking away that distracts us from driving. Our state of mind can do so as well. If you've just come out of a bad meeting, or have left the house after an argument with your spouse or partner, your mind will be elsewhere and this is just as dangerous. Being distracted isn't just about where your eyes are, its where your mind is too.

Anyone involved in the road safety field will tell you that there's no such thing as an 'accident' - collisions are caused 99% of the time by human error. Being distracted in a variety of ways is a major contributor, and companies operating vehicle fleets can take action by repeatedly educating drivers about the dangers.

Never give up on reminding drivers to stay focused on the road ahead. Banging the drum and repeating the message could save a life.