“Distractions lead to disaster” – this is the new campaign by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) targeting distracted road users. Launched on 27 February 2013, it focuses on educating not only drivers but all road users, including pedestrians who listen to music or text while walking.
The campaign could not have come any sooner – driver distraction was the number 1 cause of road fatality in Victoria in 2004 and 2005, and with the increase in the use of smartphones and gadgets in our daily lives, we can safely assume that the number of distractions and risk of collision due to distractions have increased since then.
The City of Melbourne has the highest incidence of pedestrian injuries in Victoria. Every second day, a person will be hit and injured by a car in the City of Melbourne.
Just last year, there were reports of a rise in the number of pedestrians being killed on Australian roads due to lack of attention to their surroundings when using mobile phones and wearing headphones. In NSW, 38 pedestrians died on NSW roads in the first half of 2012. In Victoria, there were 25 pedestrian fatalities.
The campaign highlights the danger of being distracted for just 2 seconds and how inattention can very quickly end in disaster. The campaign will appear on TV, radio, outdoor, online and ambient. If you haven’t seen the TV ad yet, you can watch it below.
The TVC reminds road users that taking your eyes of the road for just two seconds when driving at only 50km/h, you will travel for 27 metres, effectively blind.
Last year, we published our own infographic on distracted driving that had the same core message – that driving distractions are dangerous. Distractions can cause us to lose the ability to maintain the correct lain position, maintain an appropriate speed, follow traffic signals, and lengthens our reaction time.
We can control certain distractions such as mobile phones, GPS and entertainment systems, but external sources such as sun strike, other road users and external road signs or billboards will always be a source of distraction. We are also more easily distracted when feeling fatigued or tired.
Driving distractions are an inevitable part of driving and cannot be eliminated. The key is to address those distractions and enhance driver awareness.
This is done throughthrough educational campaigns such as the current Distractions campaign by TAC. Tougher laws such as those being introduced in Victoria’s new road safety strategy will also help to deter people from driving distracted.
But the key to increasing driver awareness may lie in new in-car safety technologies that help to watch the road ahead and alert the driver of potential dangers.
Advanced Driver Awareness Safety systems like the Mobileye is a comprehensive safety system that monitors the road ahead through a smart camera, which detects lanes, vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and speed signs. The Mobileye can then detect potential collisions and alert the driver using audio and visual cues so that the driver can react in time.
Technologies like the Mobileye is what can really help to reduce road trauma, especially those caused by driver distractions. Moreover, using the Mobileye can effectively help us to drive better.
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