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Road Safety Advice – when does it go too far?

Road Safety Warwickshire

A newspaper has criticised Brake’s recent advice on in car safety.The road safety charity is calling on drivers not to be distracted by the technology being installed in many new cars, including access to social media. Brake is also appealing to the Government to regulate the use of technology that can distract drivers. The Bristol Post argues that the advice goes too far.Car Mobile Phone5

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “Sat-navs have revolutionised the way many of us drive, helping us get from A to B without worrying about navigation, and there are indications they can make you safer.

“However, there are potential pitfalls to be wary of that can pose a real danger to yourself and other road users.

“Driving is an unpredictable activity so you still need to look at signs, particularly those warning of hazards or speed limits, and watch for people and unexpected problems.

“For many drivers there is an increasing array of technological temptations that can pose a deadly distraction.

“Brake’s advice is: set your sat-nav and radio before you set off, put your phone in the boot and ensure you’re not tempted to do anything that will take your mind or eyes off the road while driving.”

Whereas The Bristol Post states  “…asking drivers to set sat-navs and tune radios before they travel and not attempt to re-programme or change them while on the road. And that’s where the advice becomes unrealistic. Far from making roads more dangerous, tools like sat-navs have made it easier for drivers to concentrate on driving, without having to worry about which direction to take. Meanwhile, using the analogue alternative – holding and reading a paper map while driving – seems almost suicidal in comparison….And what driver is realistically going to pull over to change a radio channel or CD track?”

“Brake’s sentiment is commendable – but the charity needs to treat drivers with more respect if it wants them to take its advice seriously.” http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Say-Advice-drivers-unrealistic/story-25815728-detail/story.html?

What do you think? As Road Safety Professionals it is clear that Drive Distraction is a significant contributory factor in many crashes, but is there a line where common sense needs to come into play? Driving is an incredibly demanding complex activity which deserves the full attention of the driver.

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