Yorkshire motorists driven to distraction by in-car technology

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THE technological revolution that is set to make driverless cars a common sight on Yorkshire’s roads is having a worrying impact on the humans who are currently steering vehicles around the county.

A leading motoring law firm has warned that many drivers are putting themselves and other road users at risk by allowing themselves to be distracted by the technology within modern cars.

More than half of motorists (57 per cent) admit to making errors while driving because they were busy using their sat-nav, stereo, mobile phone or other technology.

Around 1.4m drivers have had to swerve to avoid an oncoming vehicle and 1.25m have passed through a red light after being distracted by technology.

Law firm Geoffrey Miller warn that a rise in super-tech cars with in-car screens and complimentary Netflix subscriptions could make it harder for motorists to focus on driving.

Five seconds looking away from the road while driving at 30mph can result in a car travelling over 50m.

On the motorway, where a car is travelling at the national speed limit (70mph), a car could travel 160m while the driver’s gaze is elsewhere.

Research also found a more traditional action, changing the radio station, is the biggest distraction for modern drivers - followed by looking at the sat-nav or a mobile phone.

They also found men are worse at concentrating on the road and more likely to look at their phone behind the wheel.

Jeanette Miller, managing director of Geoffrey Miller, said that although technology has made driving easier and safer, super-tech cars create a risk for motorists.

“Aside from the ‘being in proper control’ laws, there are no specific laws in place to deal with the distraction of having a huge computer screen in the driver’s eye line as yet,” she said.

“Legislation has not kept pace with the latest developments in car manufacturing and policy-makers need to consider the implications of these new super-tech cars before they become mainstream.”

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