CV Show 2024
23 - 25 APRIL 2024 • NEC • BIRMINGHAM • UK
21 March 2024
CV Show

Driver distraction becomes a major safety problem

Red Corporate Driver Training highlights driver distraction from in-vehicle technology as a growing safety issue, urging for physical controls.

News

Modern vans and trucks have such a mass of technology aboard that driver distraction is becoming a big safety problem, according to Red Corporate Driver Training.

Red has warned that widespread use of screens and dials for entertainment and driving options – to the point where some vehicles have almost no physical buttons at all – has tipped many drivers over the edge into dangerous levels of distraction.

We are in danger of drowning in distraction because of the huge amount on offer in a modern vehicle,” said a company spokesman. In some vehicles now, you could spend miles choosing which parts of your seat to heat up, what colour the cabin lights should be, the design of the dials, scrolling through millions of songs and podcasts on various apps or hearing your emails and messages read out. That’s even before getting to the more obvious forms of distraction, such as phone calls, work and home worries, passengers and daydreaming. At some point, the dam will burst.

Red is backing Euro NCAP’s move to only start awarding five stars for safety to vehicles that have physical buttons for certain key operations from 2026.

It’s also published a free-to-download advisory paper on how to combat the problem – warning that without more awareness of the issue, the problem of digital distraction is going to get worse, not better.

The spokesman added:

A driver who is scrolling through multiple sub menus on a screen to operate their vehicle’s systems is almost certainly not going to classify themselves as distracted. But almost certainly they are. As high-profile recent court cases involving distraction and fatal road accidents have shown, there can be tragic consequences for seemingly innocuous actions undertaken by drivers all the time. Their eyes are off the road and mental effort is going into the act of selecting, toggling, scrolling and clicking. Hundreds of metres of driving can have taken place for what are justified actions in the mind of the driver. Yet it is incredibly dangerous.

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