Distracted Driving and our perceptions
Liberty Insurance contacted me recently regarding their recent survey amongst Irish drivers around the area of distraction.
Self reported examples of Distracted Driving are:
Digital Distraction (13%)
Eating while driving (9%)
Talking on the phone (9%)
Texting while driving (4%)
How good are we as drivers?
In the Liberty Insurance survey only 3% of drivers admitted to being unsafe behind the wheel yet 46% admit to unsafe individual acts while driving.
In our own study conducted over the last 20 years 75% – 80% of all drivers we encounter now rate their driving above average – yet approximately 30% of all drivers we assess have training needs rated at high risk.
What is now the norm in driving?
Some of our behaviours are now changing too when it comes to driving. Drivers when we asked about their behavioural aspects to their driving reported the following as normal:
It is normal to spend over an hour on a hands free kit talking especially when motorway driving.
Drivers report that they use the phone to talk to others as a defence against boredom when driving on the motorway.
In the first few minutes when driving away from work in the evening to home they make more than one phone call from the car.
Sales persons and Management now use driving time to catch up on messages and to return phone calls missed during the day.
Most calls to truck and bus drivers are from the workplace “where are you now?” type calls and from other drivers looking for directions.
Most commercial drivers now carry more than one phone with them in cab – one personal and one company phone.
When the workplace can’t get the driver on the company phone – they instantly ring the drivers personal phone.
From May 1st, 2014 it is an offence to use a phone to text, (sending or reading) whilst driving – yet the growth of instant messaging continues as we use free applications to reduce our phone bills. Finally following a previous Blog post regarding Mobile Phones the Irish Police and Transport Authorities are tackling this issue.
Changing our behaviour
Liberty Insurance is calling on us all to review and possibly change our driving behaviour. Share your #drivesafer tips via Twitter and the Liberty Insurance Facebook page. They are also asking that in the car with family and friends, don’t accept unsafe behaviour.
A list of recommended practical tips is available on their blog whcih includes the use of Sat Navs – planning your journey – and Social Media use whilst driving.