Almost 1 in 8 Irish motorists admit to having been involved in a near miss or an incident after being distracted by the actions of a passenger while driving, recent research has found.
In response to an AA Car Insurance survey of over 6,000 motorists, 12.32% of respondents admitted that they had been involved in either a near miss or a collision after being distracted. In total, 10.38% admitted to being involved in at least one near miss, with 0.94% having found themselves involved in a single collision as a result of passenger distraction.
The survey also found that 0.43% of respondents had been involved in two collisions because a passenger had distracted them, with 0.57% having been involved in three or more distraction-caused incidents.
“We’re moving into what is a danger our time on Irish roads, as the combination of reduced daylight and poor weather conditions that we see during winter can lead to an increase in accidents – particularly in the morning and evening rush hour period where fatigue can also be a contributory factor. As we move closer to the festive season and the shopping rush, many of us will also find ourselves driving at times we are less accustomed to or rushing and racing from location to location, which further adds to the risk,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “With this in mind, it’s important that passengers are aware of the dangers associated with driving and the need for the motorist to remain fully focused on the task at hand. While ultimate responsibility lays with the motorist, passengers must be aware of how their actions could interfere with the driver and, for the parents out there, now is a good time to have a discussion with your children about the important of behaving well while in the car.”
The survey found that in incidents where a driver had been distracted by a passenger leading to either a near miss or a collision, children were often the number one culprit.
Of those who admitted to being distracted by a passenger while driving, 43.85% stated that the passenger at fault was one or more of their children. Meanwhile, almost a quarter of those involved in a near miss or collision as a result of a passenger distraction pointed the finger of blame at their spouse or partner. 22.68%
“It can be a little tougher to manage a child’s behaviour in a car as sudden illnesses or fights with siblings could break out at any moment. As a parent, your first instinct will be to attend to your children and try to resolve the issue, but this momentary lapse of concentration could greatly increase your risk of being involved in an accident. Ultimately, it’s better to pull in at a safe spot and attend to your child before continuing your journey instead of trying to juggle the tasks of driving and parenting,” Faughnan added. “