Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaged in other activities—such as looking after children, texting, talking on the phone or to a passenger, eating, or reading—that take the driver’s attention away from the road. All distractions compromise the safety of the driver, passengers, pedestrians and those in other vehicles.

Distracted driving contributes to the main killers on UAE’s roads (sudden lane change, driving too close to the vehicle in front, entering road without checking if clear and lack of attention)

There are 4 main types of distraction:

  • Visual: taking your EYES off the road
  • Manual: taking your HANDS off the wheel
  • Cognitive: taking your MIND off of driving
  • Auditory: taking your EARS off (alarming) traffic sounds

Visual inattention (looking away from the road ahead) is the single most significant factor contributing to crash and near crash involvement.

While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting and talking on the phone while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all 4 types of distraction.

Watch out for these main forms of distraction:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Texting or using the Internet
  • Other occupants in the car, especially children and pets
  • Smoking, eating or drinking
  • Rubbernecking
  • Adjusting radio / entertainment system
  • Reaching for objects in car
  • Using GPS system (setting or changing  while driving)
  • Reading a map
  • Applying  makeup  or styling hair


Interesting Research findings:

A study by Monash University found that having one or more children in the car was 12 times more distracting than talking on a mobile phone while driving

Speaking on a cell phone while driving reduces focus on the road and the act of driving by 37%, irrespective of hands-free cell phone operation.

The US Department of Transportation estimates that reaching for a cell phone distracts a driver for 4.6 seconds, or the equivalent of the length of a football field, if the vehicle is traveling 90km/h.

It has been shown that reaching for something inside the vehicle increases the accident risk by 9 times. Texting while driving increases the risk of an auto accident by 23 times.

A study by AAA found that talking to a passenger was as distracting as talking on a hands-free mobile phone.

More interesting research can be found here:  http://www.sr22insurance.net/distracted-driving/


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