“It will be interesting to determine if inattentive driving has become the norm, rather than the exception, among South African drivers,” says Karien Venter, a member of the study. “Internationally, the role that inattention and distraction plays in crashes and near-crashes has received a lot of attention. Using electronic equipment while driving, talking to passengers, grooming, as well as eating and drinking, all influence driver behaviour."The investigation of inattentive and distracted driving is a commencement of research aimed at exploring the potential extraction of useful information from available naturalistic driving data.
"New evidence suggests that driver distraction is probably six times more dangerous than driving drunk. If one considers a driver, just over the legal alcohol limit of 0.05, already having a potential risk of being involved in a crash - 15 times more than a sober person - then the context of distraction is even more frightening”, the AA added.
“It’s a fact that, when dealing with driver behaviour, drivers consistently overestimate their abilities, and underestimate the risk for an accident when talking or texting while driving,” says CEO of Discovery Insure, Anton Ossip.Driver distraction is any activity that diverts the attention away from the primary driving task. Observations indicated that the drivers did engage in secondary activities while driving. Although the frequency and manner in which they did so differed.