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Social media a driving distraction

PAY ATTENTION: Social media are among the biggest distractions on the road.
PAY ATTENTION: Social media are among the biggest distractions on the road. Lisa Williams

RESULTS from the RAC's world-first Attention Powered Car have shown social media, mobile phone use and noisy passengers to be amongst the biggest in-car distractions on the road.

The West Australian motoring assistance and insurance company's executive general manager, Pat Walker, said the Attention Powered Car tests were conducted under controlled conditions at the RAC Driving Centre and the results demonstrated how easily attention can be lost behind the wheel.

"Facebook had a big impact on the attention level of the five drivers tested - recording a 43% drop in attention levels, on average," Mr Walker said.

"This is very concerning when you consider the 2013 RAC free2go Driver Survey revealed 20% of 17-19 year old drivers check social media while behind the wheel."

The Attention Powered Car tests involved a professional driver, a p-plater, a caravanning veteran, a mum and a Wheatbelt resident.

The tests were designed to highlight how quickly drivers can lose concentration, causing lives to be lost, and leaving families and friends to deal with the consequences of road trauma.

"The RAC is committed to saving lives on our roads and we have used the Attention Powered Car to assist people to understand the importance of paying attention and what are the factors distracting us while we drive," Mr Walker said.



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