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Keep your eyes on the road - News

KEEP your eyes on the road, so goes the old saying. But do we?

Some interesting food for thought came this week with a study by DirectLine car insurance which reveals that drivers spend 18 per cent of their time behind the wheel not watching the road at all.

Instead they gaze at clouds, scenery and pedestrian distractions – which is worrying.

On average they are taking their eyes off the road every nine seconds, proven by the latest latest eye-tracking technology to record drivers’ eye movements.

Motorists using sat nav devices were even more distracted with a stonking 22 per cent of time focussed away from the road.

The experiment saw participants wearing specialist glasses that pinpoint the exact focus of the eye by tracking microscopic movements in the cornea.

This innovative experiment was captured on film and enabled researchers to establish exactly where drivers focus their vision.

The study shows that drivers with a sat nav have their eyes fixed on this screen, and therefore not looking at the road, for four times as long as the average driver spends checking their mirrors (3.2 per cent) and six times longer than they spend observing oncoming traffic (two per cent).

For a driver travelling from London to Brighton, a journey of one and half hours, this is equivalent to 11 minutes with their eyes fixed purely on their sat nav screen.

Interestingly, motorists spend three per cent of driving time watching pedestrians (who were neither on or crossing the road) as they did checking their mirrors.

And while both men and women appear to have been distracted by good looking pedestrians, only men turned their heads completely away from the road as a result.

Author: Ian Johnson
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