By RAM Tracking on 21 Feb 2013
Last week our Valentine’s Day blog featured some tongue in cheek statistics regarding what the average British commuter gets up to in their cars across a lifetime of driving, including the occasional smooch with a partner, flirting with a fellow motorists and singing along to our favourite tunes on the radio. However there is a more serious underlying message to these findings by us choosing to partake in in-car activities such as making phone calls, breaking the speed limit and even applying make-up.
This raises the question of whether or not we drivers always take our in-car safety seriously and whether we are conscious of the dangers of our actions to both ourselves and other road users.
Road safety charity Brake, claim a ‘significant number of people who drive for work are risking devastating crashes by texting, speeding and grooming at the wheel’. Brake and Direct Line released statistics revealing that 31% of drivers text whilst behind the wheel, with a further 17% admitting to grooming themselves such as applying make-up or shaving.
The charity also stresses the dangers to drivers who are working at the time of driving, as working commuters are 26% more likely to be in a crash than people driving in their personal time. Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive said, ‘It is appalling that so many people who drive in a professional capacity are taking such horrendous and unnecessary risks, doing things we all know are unbelievably dangerous behind the wheel’.
It is estimated we each exceed the speed limit 19,379 times across a lifetime of driving, although Brake claim that ‘driving too fast or allowing yourself to be distracted while driving is incredibly dangerous because in both cases you’re much less likely to be able to react in the case of an emergency (…) even a tiny increase in speed can make a huge difference to how long it takes you to stop’.
The statistics by the Press Association revealed we make an estimated 1,992 phone calls whilst in the car, many of us are guilty of this, although Brake advise ‘never to use a mobile at the wheel to call or text, hands free or hand held, all of which are proven to increase your crash risk’.
The charity also warns against eating whilst driving, something we Brits are guilty of doing an estimated 897 times. Whilst some of these driving statistics may seem comical, when you consider the implications some of them may have on our driving, in certain cases by partaking in such activities it is in fact increasing our risk of accidents whilst on the road.
For further advice on road safety why not visit http://www.brake.org.uk/pledge and sign up to be a safer driver.