Earlier today the Arrive Alive road safety website received an email from a road safety friend who is concerned with the many driver distractions accidents. I would like to quote from his email:
I hope that you are well.
We feel that we would need to be responsible for driving a distracted driving and road safety campaign in South Africa. Obviously, many of the victims of road accidents from distracted driving become quadriplegics and paraplegics.
Is there any chance that you can give us some advice and some ideas about a national road safety campaign around distracted driving.
Anyway, any ideas would be grateful and I hope that you would consider sharing ideas with us.
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you
QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA)”
Distractions are indeed important contributing factors to road accidents and car insurance claims. These include a variety of driver and pedestrian distractions – the most obvious being driving when talking on cellular phones, texting while driving etc.
What has however escaped our minds is the effect of sexy and skimpy dressed women next to our roads on the attention and driving ability of our male drivers.
Are sexy clothing and the lack of clothing leading to car insurance claims?
A survey of 1400 motorists, conducted on behalf of insurance firm Sheilas’ Wheels, found that 29 per cent of male drivers admitted to being distracted by women during the summer. By contrast, just three per cent of female motorists said that men’s choice of summer clothing puts them off their driving.
According to Insurance company Sheilas’ Wheels, the summer smash phenomenon is getting worse each year – in 2009 men made 16.4 per cent more claims during the Summer than in any other month.
The research also revealed that men made 16.4 per cent more claims than women last summer. And a quarter of men have had at least one summertime crash or near miss in the past five years.
Behavioural psychologist Donna Dawson explained: “Research shows that men are far more easily distracted behind the wheel than women.
“Men are more visually orientated and so distractions such as an attractive woman walking down the street can quickly take their attention away from driving and the job in hand.
“Testosterone also plays a part, as it makes men more prone to aggression, especially when frustrated by a confined space such as a car – and men are quicker than women to expose such irritability in hot weather.”
Despite conditions being brighter and visibility better, male drivers are more likely to crash in summer because they are distracted by women, who tend to be wearing less in the heat.
Top Gear, Sexy Pedestrians and Accident Risks
This was also raised by well known TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC’s Top Gear in a discussion in front of a studio audience.
He said: “People imagine the most dangerous time of the year to drive is November or perhaps February – dark nights, fog, ice.
“But we were talking about this the other day and we think the most dangerous time to drive a car is round about now.
“Sunny skies, light breezes, girls wearing short skirts, because the thing is, you can’t not look. You can’t physically not look.”
Co-presenter Richard Hammond interjected, saying: “You can physically not use your mobile phone and it’s easy not to drive home when you’ve had 18 pints of lager. But when you’re driving along and a girl walks past, you have to look.”
Conclusion and Advice
We would like to focus the attention of vehicle owners on the risks of driver distractions – to which we also now have to add the risk of sexy female pedestrians!