couple_argueThere are a wide variety of driver distractions on our roads.These distractions are leading to many unnecessary road crashes and car insurance claims!

Most reports on distracted driving nowadays addresses the risks of cellular conversations and texting while driving. Research has revealed that most motorists are much more scared of sharing the roads with other road users than 5 years ago. The habit of texting while driving is to blame for the increased concern – and this is especially prevalent amongst our young drivers!

There is however also many other driver distractions that we tend to forget. In the section Avoiding Driver Distractions on the Arrive Alive road safety website we discuss both physical and mental distractions. We would like to quote:

• Physical distractions

Physical distractions are actions the driver might perform, actions by his passengers or technology in the car – and also distractions outside the vehicle that could divert the attention of the driver away from safely driving the vehicle.

• Mental and emotional distractions

Mental and emotional distractions may cause a driver to be more aggressive and less tolerant to other drivers.

Research on feuds between couples inside their vehicles

Yesterday I have come across fascinating results from research on the feuds between couples when they are driving. This provides greater insight to the possible dangers of mental and emotional distractions to safety on the roads.

We would like to quote some of the interesting findings from this research conducted by Spanish car maker and VW subsidiary SEAT:

• It has been shown it takes 22 minutes into a car journey for an argument to start and many couples spend the remainder of the journey in silence.
• One in ten motorists even admitted in a UK survey of 3 000 motorists, that their car arguments had been so bad, it led to separation.

Why do couples argue inside their vehicles?

• At 44%, the majority of couples had fall outs over directions and getting lost, while 37% of couples began the silent treatment after an argument over finding somewhere to park.
• Driving too quickly and driving too close to other cars were the next biggest causes at 34% and 24%, respectively.
• Back seat driving is the cause of one in five fights.

How do couples vent their anger?

• More than half of those surveyed admitted that they spent the rest of a car ride in silence after a fight.
• 71% of adults said they had argued with their partner about the way that they drive.
• One in five drivers have pulled the car over and made their partner get out, while 19% said they got out of the car themselves and walked home.
• Some 22% said they won’t even drive with their partner in the car, simply refusing.

Conclusion and Advice

We have provided advice on the Arrive Alive website and blogs on how to avoid road rage. These suggestions are usually aimed at avoiding acts of aggression towards other road users. Perhaps it is also necessary to ensure to implement some of these measures to ensure that the road rage is not instigated from within our own vehicles!!

We would like to urge passengers to avoid distractions that could reduce the driving ability of the driver. Do not instigate conflict that could take the attention of the driver away from the road. We need our drivers to remain vigilant, alert and with their attention focused on the road and their driving behaviour!!

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