Human interaction is a distraction

Distraction while driving

Distraction while driving is a factor in road traffic that should not be underestimated, which unfortunately leads to accidents again and again. Second jobs in the car generally impair the driver's attention and ability to react. But even short distractions can cause driving errors, even if they only last a few seconds or glances.

Various European and Swiss insurance companies therefore regularly carry out studies to identify the greatest distraction factors and to point out the resulting risks to vehicle drivers.

Distraction as the cause of an accident

While alcohol is still the number one cause of accidents in Switzerland, inattentiveness is the number one cause of accidents in Germany. This factor is also increasing in this country, as a study by the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) from 2016 shows. Incidentally, men and women are equally affected by the problem of distraction in road traffic.

Passenger as a cause of distraction

Whenever it comes to articles or discussions about distraction while driving, the mobile phone comes first. However, it is often forgotten that there are other sources of distraction, not least the passenger.

It doesn't even have to be whining children who draw attention to themselves through the constant questioning or annoyed arguments (according to a German study, children in 23 percent and adult passengers in 12 percent of drivers are a distraction). Even adult co-drivers can contribute to the distraction of the vehicle driver by acting carelessly or even by accepting a phone call.

Passive participants - i.e. listeners - of a telephone call run the risk of thinking that they are no longer completely on the road - and this is especially true for younger drivers with only a few years of driving experience. It's not just inmates who are on the phone that create distraction. Even surfing or texting passengers can already claim the driver's attention.

But even without a phone, there can be distractions in the car. Intense discussions that require the full attention of everyone involved - including the driver - are no less distracting than heated debates that can possibly even end in a dispute.

While there are legal regulations for the use of electronic media in the car - primarily the mobile phone - conversations with other occupants and general human interactions can hardly be regulated by the state. The distraction caused by the passenger can hardly be regulated by law. Nevertheless, vehicle drivers must be aware that they are legally responsible for safety, that is, they are also responsible for the behavior of the other occupants in the car in a broader sense.

By the way: voices coming from the radio can also be distracting, regardless of whether it is an audio book or music. So, even with exciting stories or a particularly lively song, don't forget that you as the driver are an active road user. Take your surroundings into account. Do not only keep your ears but also your eyes open at all times and do not allow your concentration to be distracted by external influences.

We wish you a good and safe journey and see you next time!

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Volvo representative of your choice.