Focussing on the task in hand is the only way of staying as safe as possible when driving, thus, avoiding distractions is crucial to keeping our attention on the roads.
According to a study conducted by BP, Castrol and RACE, more than 15 million drivers on the road are being distracted by manipulating devices in the vehicle.
The information obtained from the 1,145 respondents shows that, on average, a driver performs six actions involving manipulation of elements of the vehicle which can cause a distraction behind the wheel.
These six distractions include accessing the Internet from the vehicle, using a web browser, synchronising devices and searching for objects in the glove compartment. But not only that, only 42% of drivers regularly check their rear view mirror in in place and only 22% check that the driving seat is correctly positioned.
The tested drivers also report that they are unfamiliar with the more complicated controls within their own vehicles, in fact, 95% say that there should be more training on new technologies that are incorporated in their vehicles. The drivers who responded claim that this technology not only causes uncertainty and stress, but it also leads to potentially catastrophic consequences, so much so, lack of knowledge of the vehicle´s own built-in devices was a factor in distracting one in four of every driver.
The drivers were unaware of one of the biggest breakthroughs in safer motoring, ESP, which has been mandatory in all new cars since 2011. Of the drivers surveyed, 44% were aware of the concept but 20% didn´t know if it was installed in their vehicle whereas 58% do not know how it works or what it does.
ESP stands for “Electronic Stability Program”. If your vehicle has ESP® on board, it provides you with two additional active safety systems. ABS or “Antilock Braking System” and TCS, or “Traction Control System”. ABS prevents the wheels from locking during braking whereas TCS prevents the wheels from spinning when starting off and accelerating.
To try to alleviate problems of distractions BP, Castrol and RACE have launched a campaign which will be fed through social networks in Spain, using the hashtag #manosalvolante. The aim being to educate drivers about the importance of keeping attention on driving, and not be distracted by elements that can be found within the passenger compartment. The initiative aims to improve safety on all trips, whether short or long distance, through responsible behaviour.
Within its strategy, the group aims to improve the knowledge among drivers of their vehicles, and incorporating new technologies to help them better understand their operation. To do so, the campaign has the support of Roldán Rodríguez, a Spanish racing driver, who competed in the GP2 Series from 2007 to 2009, who will be offering different advice about the importance of staying focused on the road and vehicle knowledge.
There is also a website, www.manosalvolante.es, where you can find instructional videos, infographics on the main sources of distractions, interviews with personalities, knowledge games, contests on Facebook and special campaigns to be launched through social networks.
Furthermore, within the framework of the campaign, 250 drivers will have the opportunity to receive training in technology and road safety on the Circuito del Jarama racing track in order to get to know the new systems incorporated in the vehicles.