Drivers more distracted than previously thought

Article Chris Ebbs
Dec 20, 2012
Distracted driver with his eyes off the road

Eyes are off the road for 18 per cent of the time.

Motorists spend 18 per cent of their car journey times distracted by other things, according to a study commissioned by Direct Line car insurance.

The company found that the number went up to 22 per cent for drivers with a sat-nav in their car. The results were found in an experiment using eye-tracking technology to analyse the driver's eye movements.

According to the results, motorists without a sat-nav spent almost nine per cent of their journeys looking at scenery, buildings and clouds. For all drivers this counted as the biggest distraction at seven per cent.

At the same time, just two per cent and three per cent of time in the car was used for looking at oncoming traffic and looking in mirrors respectively.

Another issue was the three per cent of time spent looking at pedestrians. And it found that while both sexes turned their heads completely away from the road, men were the worst offenders.

Simon Henrick, spokesman for Direct Line car insurance, said: “For the first time we know exactly where people focus their eyes when driving and the results are frightening. Even when drivers appear to be watching the road, by tracking movements in the cornea we now know they are often watching clouds or shop window displays.”

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