Driv­ing dis­trac­tions can be fa­tal

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Driver dis­trac­tion led to 20 peo­ple dy­ing in Auck­land over five years.

Auck­land Trans­port says tex­ting, chang­ing the ra­dio sta­tion, ad­ver­tis­ing, eat­ing, the heater, pas­sen­gers and other ve­hi­cles can dis­tract driv­ers enough to cause ac­ci­dents.

But com­mu­nity trans­port man­ager Matthew Red­nall says crashes which may have been caused by driver dis­trac­tion ‘‘are cur­rently un­der re­ported and are not truly re­flected in the crash statis­tics’’.

There have been 57 peo­ple se­ri­ously in­jured within the same five- year pe­riod 2007 and 2011.

There are close to 200 in­juries suf­fered in driver dis­trac­tion ac­ci­dents each year, Auck­land Trans­port says. ‘‘While peo­ple gen­er­ally be­lieve they are good at multi-task­ing, ev­i­dence from crash statis­tics shows we’re not as

be­tween good as we think we are.’’

Statis­tics show that in­ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers aged 15 to 24 have higher in­stances of driver dis­trac­tion re­sult­ing in fa­tal or se­ri­ous crashes, the coun­cil­con­trolled group says.

Auck­land Trans­port says it is work­ing to help make mo­torists aware of their bad habits and of­fer ad­vice on mod­i­fy­ing be­hav­iours. An ar­cadestyle driver game on so­cial net­work­ing web­site Face­book aims to teach mo­torists to be self-aware.

Go to auck­land­c­ity har­bournews.co.nz and click Lat­est Edi­tion to watch a video about youth driver safety on the road.

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