Driver distraction under the spotlight

The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) is reminding drivers that using a mobile phone, sat nav or any similar device while at the wheel will mean their attention is distracted from the road.

Studies have long shown that drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards – making them more likely to crash.

In fact, looking away for even 2.3 seconds – while travelling at 30mph – would lead to a driver missing 100ft of road.

With this in mind, the FIA Region 2 (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the risk of distraction among road users.

The #2seconds campaign stresses that even very short lapses of attention can have dramatic and even fatal consequences.

The FIA’s data suggests that up to 25% of road crashes are due to distraction, with 25-30% of total driving time spent on distracting activities.

Violeta Bulc, European commissioner for transport, said: “Distraction from mobile devices has become one of the top crash factors. Reports show it has even overtaken speed and alcohol as the highest risk factors.

“It is crucial that all road users are aware of the high risks of even short spans of inattention.”

In Essex, five drivers were caught using a mobile phone while at the wheel during a recent Surround a Town day in Witham.

19 September 2019

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