The dangers of distraction

Driving is a complex task. Anything that takes your mind or eyes off the road, or your hands off the wheel, not only compromises your safety, but that of everyone else on the road.

Being distracted increases your chances of having a crash. It slows down your reaction times and puts you in danger of failing to see hazards such as traffic lights, stop signs or other road users, including pedestrians and bicycle riders.

Research shows that being distracted when driving, such as by a mobile phone, passengers, animals in your vehicle or loud music can increase your risk of a crash. Simply taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds, doubles the risk of a crash.

At 60 km/h if you are distracted while driving for just two seconds, you travel 33 metres blind. A short lapse of concentration can have lifelong consequences.

See how far you travel at different speeds when you take your eyes off the road for just two seconds

Travel speedMetres travelled in 2 seconds
40 km/h22.22
50 km/h27.78
60 km/h33.33
80 km/h44.44
100 km/h55.56

Younger and novice drivers face many challenges when learning the complex task of driving a vehicle. With their relative inexperience, they can be more prone to distraction and face a higher risk of being involved in a crash.

Despite making up only about 14% of all licence holders, the crashes that involve younger drivers (aged under 26 years) accounted for almost a quarter of annual road fatalities in 2021.