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Phone-fanatics: A dangerous number of drivers are addicted to their mobiles, says AA survey
We all know about this distraction, but new gadgets – even safety related – mean that there are more and more driver distractions to deal with

VANS are getting safer all the time, as more and more have items such as ESP, which prevent sideways skidding, and ABS brakes to help avoid shunts.

Unfortunately, many of the safety benefits are being negated by a threat from another direction – gadget overload!

Top 10 road risks versus 10 years ago

  1. More people using mobile phones (68%)
  2. More cars on road (67%)
  3. More reckless drivers (61%)
  4. More urgency to get to destination (44%)
  5. More people using sat navs (39%)
  6. The number of vans/lorries on the road (30%)
  7. More speed cameras (29%)
  8. More cyclists (29%)
  9. More signs on the road (27%)
  10. More motorcyclists on the road (16%)

Yes, all those gadgets much loved by vans drivers such as mobile phones, sat navs and iPods are causing such distraction that 80% of drivers feel less safe on the roads than they did 10 years ago – a pretty sad statistic bearing in mind that manufacturers are ploughing millions of pounds into making their vehicles safer.

The claim comes in a study by motor insurer Zurich.

It’s almost 10 years since using a mobile phone while driving was banned yet nearly half (48%) of motorists admit to being distracted by phone calls and texts while driving, with 22% checking social media accounts behind the wheel.

The research also found that a rise in the number of cyclists on Britain’s roads is contributing to drivers feeling at risk, with almost a third (34%) of motorists blaming them as the number one distraction ‘outside of their control.’

When asked about the roads themselves, motorists said they feel most at risk when navigating unknown roads (76%), with many regularly distracted by complex signs (61%), speed cameras (55%) and roundabouts (39%).

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) director of policy Neil Greig said:  “Driving on UK roads has never been so distracting.

“Gadget overload and the rise of complex road systems has meant that concentration is less and roads are trickier to read.  With an increase in cyclists, there is another major risk factor in play too.”

Zurich car insurance expert Phil Ost added: “While the rise of mobile technology has made it easier for us to communicate on the move, it’s also making our lives feel busier. Staying safe is far more important than staying in touch.


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