As the Met Office predicts snow and below average temperatures this December, designated drivers for the party season are being urged to plan ahead and plan how to handle the distraction of noisy passengers. In car distractions led to over 4000 road casualties last year and there were 7 fatalities a month on average over the past 3 years caused by in car distractions, excluding mobile phone use. Fatalities caused by drivers using a mobile phone average between 2 and 3 per month, while there were over 2000 road casualties where poor weather was the contributory factor.
In a recent survey of 1,000 road users, carried out to support the launch of Theo, the smart in-car companion that helps motorists stay focused on the road, respondents cited driver distraction as the biggest risk to road safety.
Mike Brockman, the pioneer of technology to improve road safety and creator of Theo says: “There are a lot of factors at play at this time of year – busier roads, bad weather and higher levels of both excitement and stress. Driving demands heightened concentration when conditions are poor and this becomes a real challenge if passengers are proving a distraction – whether that’s exuberant adults or excitable children.
“It’s crucial motorists find ways to keep calm and focused such as installing the smart in-car companion, Theo, to offer an extra safeguard against the risk of collision. Theo is a super-dashcam with sensors that warn drivers when they get too close to the car in front, videos the road ahead through a HD camera and speak to the driver in the car following an accident to facilitate immediate and on-going support.
“Distraction can affect anyone, even the most careful and experienced driver. As such, all drivers need to do everything they can to improve their safety and Theo represents the next generation of car safety technology.”
Theo’s 4 top tips for winter driving
- Get your car ready – check your oil levels and ensure the screenwash is topped up; make sure tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and have no cracks or worn patches which could reduce grip on slippery roads; and keep your windows, windscreens and headlights clean.
- Plan ahead – carefully plan routes and timing, checking for roadworks and other potential delays and avoiding the busiest times on the road whenever possible.
- Install Theo – to help improve safety when distractions and stress are at their peak over the Christmas period.
- Refresh your memory – re-read advice on how to drive safely in poor weather; steering into a skid, pulling away in second gear on icy roads, for example.