It turns out that the biggest cause for in-car distractions is 'children' - 29% according to IAM Roadsmart, which after this weekend I can totally understand... Aaaarrrgggghhhh!
What is it about seat hierarchy with kids? Don't get me wrong, I remember how important it was when I was a kid and now I have three little monkeys under 10 doing exactly the same thing. Every journey we take is the same "he sat there yesterday, it's my turn to sit in the front." JUST GET IN THE CAR, IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU SIT!
It's when the consistent bickering continues throughout the entire journey that I feel it becomes dangerous for the driver. I reckon I'd be a safer driver whilst on the phone, choosing a radio station, playing with the SatNav and eating a sandwich all at the same time rather than listening to my kids shouting at each other. (Honestly I joke, I love them really...!)
This article gives further insight into road safety challenges being faced by the increase of in-car-tech. I believe the quicker autonomous vehicles are introduced to the mainstream, the quicker we can hopefully look at reduced traffic accident casualties. At least I'll then be able to concentrate on disciplining my children whilst they're at each other's throats rather than having to worry about the affect they're having on my driving.
Road safety campaigners have ascribed this worrying increase to the rise of in-car technology systems and drivers being distracted by mobile phones. A research paper by IAM Roadsmart (formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists) highlights that “with the steady rise of new, potentially-distracting in-car technology being added to vehicles on an almost daily basis by manufacturers...it seems intuitive that the situation is indeed worsening.” The number of deaths related to mobile phone use behind the wheel rose from 27 in 2007 to 43 in 2017 – a 59 per cent increase – while serious injuries went up 39 per cent over the course of the decade, from 97 to 135.