New study suggests drivers commonly take their eyes off the road for more than two miles over a one hour journey

Special glasses were fitted to a group of drivers to monitor their eye movements

 

According to new research carried out by Peugeot, drivers commonly take their eyes off the road for more than two miles over a one hour journey.

The French car manufacturers took a group of drivers, fitted special glasses on them and then monitored their eye movements. These special glasses have six small cameras attached, which map where the retina of the eye is focusing on every 0.05 seconds.

Each driver carried out twenty-five duplicate journeys which were six miles long and completed in a choice of four wheeled drive SUVs or a sports utility vehicle.

The route taken by the drivers was a mixture of different roads and road types, with a range of speed limits.

The survey’s results showed that on average drivers took their eyes off the road for 7% of the journey time.

So on a one hour journey with the driver doing 30mph, this is liken to travelling for more than two miles (3.35 kilometres) without looking to see where they are going.

In a nutshell, this equates to the length of nearly 32 football pitches – a scary thought!

What the study discovered might scare some drivers who think nothing of messing with the radio, talking on their mobile phone, or looking at the person sat next to them whilst they speak when on a journey.

Special glasses were fitted to a group of drivers to monitor their eye movements

New study suggests drivers commonly take their eyes off the road for more than two miles over a one hour journey because of distractions inside and outside the car

 

In 2016, a total of 1,445 fatal crashes occurred in the UK that resulted in one or more deaths and of these, 397 of them were recorded by the police as incidents where ‘failure to look’ was considered a factor.

From a further 140 incidents, related factors included drivers who’d been distracted by things within the vehicle, outside of the vehicle or because of mobile phone use whilst driving.

“We all know the dangers of taking your eyes off the road, whether to adjust the radio or the temperature in the car,” said managing director of Peugeot UK, David Peel.

Mr Peel also went on to say: “When you add the continued distraction of mobile phones, talking to passengers, something catching your eye outside the car and even eating or drinking a coffee, it’s easy to see how the average driver could be in control of a car yet not be looking at the road for over 3,350 metres in a one hour journey.”

The study was commissioned by Peugeot to endorse its new i-Cockpit system – the speedometer is positioned within the car directly in line with the driver’s eyes plus the steering wheel is smaller.

In cars fitted with this combination, it was discovered that drivers spent around 5% of the time with their eyes off the road compared to 7% as found in the study.

 

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