‘Don’t get distracted’ – road safety charity’s warning to motorists

Driving to distraction

Driving to distraction - Credit: Archant

The UK’s largest road safety charity, which is moving its HQ to Welwyn Garden City, has issued motoring advice to stop drivers becoming distracted at the wheel.

Using a mobile phone while driving

Using a mobile phone while driving - Credit: Archant

The daily commute can often get repetitive and could tempt you to look to your car for entertainment.

A favourite song may come to mind, or even the thought of calling someone from a hand held mobile phone to pass time.

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, said: “If you take your driving seriously then it limits the chances of distraction.

“Processing all the information from around your vehicle, taking up the right position on the road and making smooth progress are more than enough to occupy all your brain power.

“The best drivers can predict risky situation well before they can cause a problem.

“Allowing yourself to be distracted completely undermines that skill.”

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Here are some top driving tips to avoid distractions from Richard Gladman.

• 1) Most crashes actually happen close to home, so ensure familiarity does not breed contempt by keeping your focus.

Glancing away from the road ahead even for a few seconds can make you miss that vital clue of a dangerous situation developing.

• 2) Multi-tasking is a myth – even the shortest phone call or text is taking your attention away from the road, so talking on the phone whilst driving is a big ‘no’.

Even though you may have devices in place such as Bluetooth headsets or hand free, these can be very distracting and IAM RoadSmart recommend not using devices such as these.

If you can’t stop yourself using the smartphone, put it in the boot!

• 3) Avoid smoking when driving.

It is very easy for hot ash to get everywhere and cause accidents.

• 4) Eat and drink at home.

Eating and drinking on the road not only takes your eyes off the road but dropped food or spilt drinks don’t mix with smooth driving.

• 5) Distracted drivers swerve from lane to lane, drive too close to the car in front or react too slowly.

All of these actions can bring you to the attention of the police, who can issue a careless driving ticket at the roadside – as well as being a danger to other road users

• 6) Get your playlist ready before you set off for your journey.

This limits the amount of fiddling with music and audio controls or trying to plug in loose wires.

Even consider a drive without music – you may enjoy it.

• IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services, visit the new website at www.iamroadsmart.com