Fleet News

Distraction major cause of accidents

ONE in five car crashes are caused by driver distraction, according to an Australian study published in the journal Injury Prevention.

Last week, Fleet NewsNet reported on a survey that highlighted driver distraction as a major cause of road accidents, with landmarks and scenery causing drivers to lose concentration.

The Australian study showed that drivers engage in a distracting activity on average once every six minutes.

Research, by The George Institute for International Health and the University of Western Australia, indicated that during a driving trip, 72% of drivers will display a lack of concentration, 69% will adjust in-vehicle equipment, 58% are distracted by outside events, objects or people and 40% talk to passengers.

Drivers aged 18-30 had more instances of distraction while driving than older people. While this group perceived distracting behaviours to be less hazardous than their older counterparts, they were significantly more likely to crash as a result of being distracted, the study showed.

Professor Mark Stevenson, The George Institute senior director, said: ‘Policies that include driver education and enforcement practices are essential to decrease the prevalence of these behaviours and thereby, reduce the adverse outcomes.’

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