Survey shows main in-car distractions

Distractions caused by occupants, mobile phones and music have been cited as the main causes of accidents and near misses in Britain.

New research has uncovered the dangerous driving habits which are causing accidents on UK roads, with in-car distractions, mobile phones and music voted the biggest dangers. Of drivers who have had accidents, the most common music to be listening to at the time was revealed as Adele, Justin Bieber and Sia.

The research was conducted as part of an ongoing study into attitudes and behaviours of British drivers. 2,186 Britons took part in the survey, all of whom were aged 18 and over and had held a full driving licence for a minimum of two years. All respondents had stated that they had caused at least one car accident when behind the wheel.

Initially all respondents were asked ‘How many car accidents have you had in the past two years?’ to which the average response was two accidents. They were then asked how many near-misses they estimated that they had experienced over the same period, to which the average answer was fourteen.

All drivers were asked to state any distractions they had at the time of their accidents or near-misses, to which the following were revealed as the top things distracting British drivers on the roads; ‘in-car distractions e.g. children, partner’ (31%), ‘my mobile phone’ (25%) and ‘the music I was playing’ (20%).

All respondents were then asked what musicians they had been listening to when they had been involved in a car accident, or come close to having a car accident. When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select all that applied, the top 10 musicians were revealed as Adele (18%), Justin Bieber (17%), Sia (15%), Slip Knot (14%) and others.

According to the poll, when asked why the music had been such a distraction, the relevant respondents cited reasons such as ‘I was singing and dancing when I should have been focusing on the road’ (43%) and ‘I was adjusting the channel or volume’ (39%).

According to George Charles, a spokesman for the company carrying out the research, “If music is going to be that much of a distraction that you might have a near-miss or actually have an accident, you need to rethink your options. Maybe create a playlist of songs that you enjoy, but that aren’t going to pull on your heartstrings and take your focus off the road, or songs that you’re not going to want to dance along to whilst you need to keep your hands and legs in certain places, like on the floor and on the steering wheel. Celebrities aren’t to blame – we are.”

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