Back seat drivers are among the biggest distractions.
Back seat drivers are among the biggest distractions. Jason Dougherty/

Sexy pedestrians and kids driving us to distraction

KIDS driving you crazy in the car? How about sexy pedestrians catching your attention?

You're not alone. They are among the top distractions found in a UK survey of 1500 drivers by IAM and Vision Critical.

Children (29%), changing the stereo (27%), back seat drivers (26%), the sat nav (15%) and attractive pedestrians, drivers or passengers (14%) were rated the things which most took attention away from the road.

Busy lifestyles and a constant need to multitask also feature heavily with mobile phone use (24%) and texting and social media updates (10%)   also featuring.  Twenty-three per cent of young drivers (aged 18-24) find this a distraction.

Distractions are a major cause of crashes. In the same survey, 9% of drivers admit that they have crashed because they were distracted. 

"People who think they can multi-task while driving are kidding themselves. If you take your eyes of the road for just two seconds at 30 miles per hour, you'll travel close to 90 feet, effectively blind," IAM chief executive Simon Best said.

"All drivers develop bad habits over time. The key to reducing distractions and their impact is to learn to look upon your driving as a skill that needs continuous evaluation and improvement."

IAM's top tips for distracting kids:

• Keep them occupied by introducing games that promote and reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver's direct involvement.

• Portable games consoles or in-car DVD players will keep kids occupied for hours. But don't forget the headphones - the soundtracks can be just as distracting as the children.

• If you are planning a long journey, make sure you're organised - take plenty of food and drink to avoid constant demands from the back seats.

• Allow extra stops. Find somewhere for them to stretch their legs and let off steam, such as a playground or a park. Save yourself the panic and research some local parks and playgrounds where you plan to stop off.

• Have a plastic bag (without any holes) with you in case of travel sickness.

• A second adult in the car to look after the children makes a massive difference, leaving the driver to concentrate on driving.

• Don't turn round to deal with fighting kids while you're still in motion - find somewhere safe to stop first.

Courtesy of IAM.
Courtesy of IAM.

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