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Driver distraction

In 2014, driver distraction was a contributing factor in 21 fatal crashes
In 2014, driver distraction was a contributing factor in 159 serious injury crashes

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.

Distraction types

Keeping your mind on the task

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:

  • mobile phones

  • music devices such as radios, CDs and iPods

  • driver information screens and GPS devices

  • food and drink

  • other passengers

  • scenery.

Avoiding driver distraction

  • 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.

Take a look at our current driver distraction advertising campaign
Check out Auckland Transport's distraction material (external link)