Ogling drivers behind nearly one million crashes every year
London, August 15 (ANI): Drivers ogling pedestrians cause nearly one million accidents in Britain every year because they are too busy concentrating on members of the opposite sex, a new study has revealed.
Figures show that distracted motorists are the cause of an average of 2,525 crashes every day as they lust through their windows - the equivalent of 921,840 per year.
Researchers found drivers crash their cars into lampposts or shunt other vehicles more in the summer when men and women are scantily clad.
A study of 2,142 drivers found 60 percent of men admitted to getting distracted by attractive women while 12 percent of female drivers said they took their eyes off the road to look at handsome men.
And 21 percent of drivers also admitted that they couldn't take their eyes off from advertising billboards featuring images of picture perfect models.
Insurance company Direct Line discovered 17 percent of male drivers acknowledged that they were aware that their actions were dangerous but said they 'could not help but look'.
"Stealing a quick look at an attractive pedestrian or billboard model may well be a bit of fun but, on a serious note, drivers shouldn't underestimate that this type of distraction is a major contributing factor in road accidents," the Daily Mail quoted spokesman Matt Owen as saying.
"The number of crashes caused in this way have not changed year on year so drivers obviously are not learning to keep their eyes on the road," Owen said.
Between 2008 and 2009, 921,840 drivers across Britain admitted crashing because a member of the opposite sex distracted them.
And should drivers try to avoid ogling in favour of singing along to the radio that too can result in accidents.
Experts have found that motorists who sing along to the radio or their favourite CD have slower reaction times as compared to those drivers who merely listen to music.
Psychologists from Monash University in Australia conducted trials on a driving simulator in which volunteers were tested on how fast they reacted to possible dangerous situations.
The study among 21 drivers aged between 18 and 55 rated singing while driving as more mentally demanding and resulted in slower reaction times and more variable speeds, than driving without music.
The results propose that singing while driving alters driving performance and impairs hazard perception while at the same time increasing subjective mental workload.
However, singing while driving does not appear to affect driving performance more than simply listening to music.
"It is common to see drivers engaging in secondary activities ranging from the relatively benign like talking to a passenger to the potentially hazardous such as eating a bowl of cereal," the report said.
"Drivers choose to engage in secondary activities while driving as a result of being overly familiar with the task of driving and may feel they can use spare cognitive capacity to perform another task at the same time, for the most part, without problems.
"Although secondary tasks vary in the degree to which they distract the driver, any activity that competes for the attention of the driver has the potential to degrade driving performance and may have serious consequences for road safety," the report read.
The study is published in the science journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. (ANI)
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