Motoring News, road safety

Being driven to distraction? Here’s what to do…

LONDON, England – The Roadsmart division of the UK’s Institute of Advanced Motorists has created three short videos common driving distractionsl.

They feature Formula 1 test-driver Darren Turner and cover children, cellphones and pets.

Turner attempts to drive an Aston Martin racing simulator around a virtual circuit while contending with a barking dog, ringing cellphone and noisy five-year-old child.

Watch the dog distraction video


He races for Aston Martin in the World Endurance championship and was official test driver for the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2006.

At the end of each video RoadSmart’s head of driver behaviour Rebecca Ashton offers advice on how to handle each issue.

Watch the cellphone distraction video

Turner, who also owns racing simulator company Base Performance Simulators in southern England, said: “A professional racing driver is expected to maintain full concentration at all times but I was surprised by how easy it was take my eyes of the ball for a second on the simulatorand clout the virtual barrier in the simulator.

“Translate that to the real road and the consequences could be far more serious.”


Ashton added: “In our videos we see Darren tackle common distractions that any driver might face. It shows how even the best drivers can struggle if distracted – evne for a second.

“Whether you’re travelling with your children, dog or even alone there are plenty of things to steal your attention away from the road. We’re all susceptible but keeping your attention on the road is the most important way you can look after your passengers.

“Pull over in a safe place if you need to pick up a dropped toy, calm a frightened pet or answer a phone call.”


In 2013 the UK Department for Transport found 2995 cases in which distraction was listed as a contributory factor to an accidents.

Watch the child distraction video

RoadSmart’s Safely Home campaign surveyed 1500 driver’ and found the top four distraction were children (29%), changing the radio channel (27%), back-seat drivers (26%) and cellphone use (24%).

One in 10 admitted crashing because they were distracted.

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