Brake Road Safey week urges drivers to concentrate

By Tanya Waterworth

Next week sees the launch of the Brake charity's Road Safety Week, asking motorists to 'Tune-in' when they are behind the wheel, and to avoid the distractions that for many unfortunate drivers result in serious accidents.

Wilson Nesbitt is proud to sponsor the 'Tune-in' campaign as part of our overall commitment to promoting safety on our roads. Drivers and pedestrians both regularly suffer the consequences of a momentary lapse of concentration by someone behind the wheel - perhaps casting their eyes down to check out an incoming text, or driving while talking on a mobile phone. It is also a regular practice of some motorists to eat a sandwich or other snack while driving.

New research carried out in Melbourne shows that driving with children can be 12 times as distracting as talking on a mobile, with tests revealing that parents can spend as much as 20 per cent of their driving time turning around to tend to children or intervene on bad behaviour. Of the 92 families involved in the test, 90 of them were distracted by activity in the backseat for more than two seconds at a time - that's two seconds that the driver wasn't looking at the road. Other parents attempted to play with their children while driving, with the average drive-time of 16 minutes involving 2.5 minutes of play with children in the rear seats.

Other drivers get distracted by pedestrians, such as in the tragic incident that resulted in the death of a great-grandmother crossing the road. The 21-year-old motorist, Natalie Foulser, was waiting at a crossing and got into an altercation of sorts with two pedestrians crossing the road. Her attention was still on them as she drove off, and she didn't have time to avoid a direct impact with 75-year-old pensioner Averil Monks, who died from her injuries. The young driver was given a jail sentence.

There are very few of us who could honestly say we have not been distracted in at least one of the ways mentioned above. The Brake Road Safety Week challenges us all to concentrate when we are driving, and to be conscious of the distractions that can divert our attention, taking steps to minimise our risk of losing focus on the road.

For more information on the Brake Road Safety Week click here.

To read information about motoring offences in Northern Ireland click here.