Why is Distracted Driving Such a Problem?

By Saul Gold-Commercial Development Director

distracted driving

In today’s annoying, traffic-jammed world, even the best drivers find it challenging to avoid distraction. How can we avoid all the temptations? 

The answer to this question is to improve driver behavior – to continuously reinforce the need for focus – to incentivise accountability. But can it be that simple? 

 Well – the simple answer is yes. As cars become more complex, they “sprout” flashing lights, new knobs and switches – AND, of course, most tempting of all – the touch screen! All very exciting – and all very DISTRACTING.

Why is distracted driving such a problem

When you touch the screen, you take your eyes off the road. When you change the radio channel or fiddle with a playlist, your mind is far from safety. “Just for a second” you say…but a second is a long time when the car in front of you slams on the brakes. 

 Let’s think this through. Your vehicle – especially when it is on a highway – is a dangerous weapon. Cars are 2-tonne projectiles that hurt or kill anything that comes into their path – and their drivers with them. Vans and trucks can do even more damage. And when a collision occurs, it isn’t cheap. Even the slightest dent costs real money to repair.  

 No matter why you’re driving – no matter what you do – no matter who owns the vehicle you’re operating – you have a duty of care: first to yourself and your family, and then in widening circles to your colleagues, your employer and/or employees, your customers and everyone else on the road. When you drive without concentration, you increase the risk of causing significant damage to them all.    

 Why am I harping on about this? Because I am angered by what I see on the road every day. And because I am angered by my own natural tendency to be distracted. We all face the temptation: commutes are long and boring, and fiddling with phones, radios and touchscreens is so much more interesting than staying fully focused on the road. But the consequences are so high, for us personally and for society as a whole. We all need to behave more responsibly behind the wheel. Whether we’re driving cars, vans, 4*4s, trucks, lorries, buses or even motorbikes (fair play – no touchscreen yet) – there is simply no excuse for distraction. 

  So what’s the solution? Well, GreenRoad can help. Tests show – and our customers confirm – that when you give drivers real-time feedback about their behaviour, they stay more focused on the road.  It’s like giving them their own personal driving instructor. They learn to move away from bad habits, to think ahead, and to slow down. Giving them scores based on their driving – especially when they can compare themselves to their fellow drivers or see a boost in their pay for good driving – takes it up another notch. For fleets, such systems reduces accidents by 50% or more. We’d be pleased to show you how it works.  

 Whilst I am at it, here are some other interesting statistics…
Did you know that: 

  • Driving causes more work-related fatalities than any other task? 
  • ~70% of drivers admit to texting while they drive? 
  • People that text and drive are 23 times more likely to have an accident? 
  • Texting while driving quadruples the time a driver’s eyes are off the road? 


In conclusion, if we want to avoid accidents and protect our loved ones, to exercise our duty of care to employees and society as a whole – it’s time we start taking distraction seriously. And real-time feedback plus gamified incentives are the tools that will get you there.