“Candid camera: experts shocked by landmark road safety project

Excerpt from: The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 October 2018, Page 1

Australian drivers are distracted for 45 per cent of the time while behind the wheel, according to the first results from a landmark research project that filmed hundreds of drivers inside their vehicles over nearly two million kilometres.

Designed to find out what drivers really do behind the wheel, the first results shocked researchers who specialise n driver distraction, the cause of about 16% of serious crashes.

Every 96 seconds, a driver was distracted by something other than the road ahead. “That’s a big figure,” said safety researcher Dr Kristie Young, a senior fellow with Monash University’s Accident Research Centre (MUARC) and lead researcher on the study.

Six per cent of these non-driving tasks captured on video resulted in near misses.  Drivers braked sharply, swerved into the next lane, forgot to indicate or failed to yield to a pedestrian. Most of these incidents were caused by motorists who had been texting and talking on a phone, engaging in personal hygiene or reaching for an object.

Drivers were also caught on camera texting and holding their phones low in their laps to avert detection by policy.”