Five distractions inside the vehicle

Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, listed five items that could cause a distraction while driving.

Smoking and vaping could be a distraction while drive, especially if it drops and the driver’s focus is then taken off the road. Also, the cloud of smoke or vape could get in the way of a driver’s vision.

Technology can also lead to less focus on the road. For example, a sat-nav can tempt drivers to take a quick glance at the map. To avoid distraction, it is best to keep the sat-nav out of sight and on loud, so the instructions can be heard clearly, and the temptation is gone to look at the screen.

Eating and drinking is an additional distraction on the road. Eating or drinking in a vehicle slows down a driver’s reaction time. It’s better to take a short break to consume food; this way both hands are free to operate the vehicle and the opportunity for distraction is decreased.

Phones/radio/CDs can become a distraction when the volume is too high. This can prevent drivers from hearing any key sounds, such as emergency services.

Car ancillaries, like the indicators, lights, windscreen wipers etc, could also distract drivers. When these are used while driving and drivers are unfamiliar with the location of the controls, the attention is not 100% on the road. This can also cause drivers to take their eyes of the road for a split second or two, which could be dangerous.