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The Law of Distraction

What not to do when driving

With Pokémon Go still turning people into headless chickens, it’s timely that Ford is warning young drivers about the risks of too much distraction. Our blogger Chris Knox has his say.

With so much information seeping into our consciousness via the World Wide Web it’s easy to get a little distracted. Whether its click bait web content that asks us to rank the Spice Girls singles in order of quality or finding out that, if you were a fish, which fish would you be? There’s just too much for our little brains to cope with sometimes.

The same can also be said of driving. We all like to think that we’re on it 100% of the time. That is until that annoying song by that annoying boy band comes on the car radio, and you’re frantically trying to find something decent on another station before the lights turn green.

And how about a sweet from the centre console pocket box thing? Oh no, there’s only one left and you’re prepared to dislocate your shoulder and possibly lose your life and the life of others trying to reach for it. Anything for a black Midget Gem.

Well it seems we can all be guilty of letting our minds wander at the wheel, so much so that Ford has commissioned a survey that highlights some of our favourite distractions.

Watching the girls/boys go by

Well it would seem that for young drivers the sight of an attractive pedestrian is the biggest distraction, with drivers aged between 18-24 in the UK more likely to be distracted by a bit of eye candy than anywhere else in Europe.

The figures also show that young men are three times as likely as young women to be distracted by attractive pedestrians.

Now I can’t say that I’ve had an accident while watching the girls go by but I have had plenty of close scrapes involving eye popping billboards. Remember the Hey Boys Wonderbra campaign? Come on, give me a break.

Does this blow-up parent look familiar?

Showing off

Worryingly, other figures in the survey show that 41% of young drivers in Europe admitted that they were prepared to take more risks if a friend was riding shotgun. This was opposed to 57% that said that their driving improved when accompanied by a parent or grandparent.

Well, Ford has come up with a great solution, the blow-up parent. A cheeky bit of marketing this one, but one with an important message. The parent inflates when it senses your focus on the road waning. Great idea. I wonder if it also tries to tell me how to drive at every available opportunity? I best keep a knitting needle close at hand.

The survey also showed that 57% have exceeded speed limits, 43% have sent a text while driving, 36% have taken calls and sent instant messages, 16% have driven without wearing their seatbelts, 13% have driven after drinking, and up to 11% have watched videos or TV shows on their devices.

And Pokémon Go? We don’t know the full impact yet, but I’m sure wearing a neck brace still wouldn’t be enough to deter some people from catchin’ ‘em all.

Until next time, stay safe.