Irish drivers find their passengers, their wandering thoughts and their social media the biggest distractions when behind the wheel.

Research from Allianz Ireland, conducted by Coyne Research in May amongst 1,000 adults revealed that 37% of Irish drivers blame their wandering thoughts for taking their mind of the road.

Another 37% claimed that passengers are responsible for distracting them while behind the wheel. 21% of drivers said that their children caused them to lose focus on driving.

However, the research also uncovered a broad range of driving distractions that afflicted Irish motorists. These were identified by drivers as:

Mobile phone – 28% found they interfered with their driving

Pedestrians – 27% of drivers claimed they were distracting

Surrounding scenery – 26% believed their surroundings took their eyes off the road

The car stereo – 20% blamed the car stereo for breaking their concentration

Driving under the Influence of Social Media

Allianz’s research also looked at the role of social media in distracting drivers.

Overall, one in four (25%) of Irish drivers have used the internet or social media while driving.  One in 10 Irish drivers have Googled something while on the road.

The research found the most the most likely drivers to be distracted by social media are aged between 18-34 years of age.

“It is tempting to take your eyes off the road and give into distractions. However, we must remember last year the Road Safety Authority highlighted that driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions and is a significant contributory factor in over 1,400 fatal and injury collisions annually here in Ireland” said Sean McGrath, CEO, Allianz.

“Drivers need to prioritise road safety when behind the wheel. Please put the phone away and keep distractions to a minimum, if you find your thoughts and attention wandering, that may be a sign of fatigue, and you should take a break, such small steps could save your life.”

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