Driving needs your full attention. Driver distraction is a serious road safety issue. Essentially, anything that diverts a driver's attention for more than two seconds can significantly increase the likelihood of a crash or near-crash.
Distraction occurs when a driver’s attention is diverted away from concentrating on driving, towards competing events, objects or people.
In 2014, driver inattention/distraction was a contributing factor in 20 fatal crashes, 159 serious injury crashes and 873 minor injury crashes.
Driving requires your complete attention. You need to keep control of your vehicle at the same time as maintaining an awareness of your surroundings and potential hazards.
There are many causes of inattention while driving, including:
music devices such as radios, CDs and iPods
driver information screens and GPS devices
food and drink
Switch mobile phones OFF when driving. It is illegal to send or receive text messages or calls on hand-held mobile phones while driving.
Make sure your car's windscreen and mirrors are clean and adjust all of the controls (including radio/stereo) before setting off, or pull over safely to do so.
If you're unfamiliar with the route, check on a map before starting the journey or have someone read out directions. If you need to look at the map, safely pull over to the roadside.
Take regular breaks rather than eating, drinking or smoking while driving.
Ask passengers to be quiet if you're having difficulty concentrating.