Driver or rider distraction is a serious road safety issue and can trigger a fatal chain of events. A distracted driver has trouble judging speed and distance and has slow reflexes.
A split second is all it takes to lose control. Using a mobile phone, changing the music or talking to passengers when driving could all cause the driver to look away from the road.
Taking your eyes off the road for two seconds when driving at 50km/h, means you travel for 27 metres blind. The average person’s reaction time to an event is 1.8 seconds. This means that up to four seconds can pass before the distracted driver can react.
Although we don't know how many crashes in the NT involve distracted drivers, the research says a distracted driver has four times the risk of crashing.
- speeding, mobile phone and road rule enforcement campaigns
- safe driving awareness campaigns
- school and community road safety education programs.
What you can do
- stay focused and expect the unexpected
- turn off your mobile phone, even if it is hands free
- make adjustments to your radio or CD player before you start driving
- check on a map where you are going before you leave
- ensure that your vehicle's windscreens, mirrors and windows are clean and unobstructed
- ensure pets are correctly restrained by using a secured carry box or a pet seatbelt
- take a break and pull over rather than eating, drinking, smoking or grooming when you're driving
- plan activities to keep your children happy and quiet.
Relevant Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2022 actions
|4.1||Increase penalties for mobile phone use to align with other Australian jurisdictions.||1||DIPL||Police||Safe road use|
|4.4||Deliver a driver distraction awareness campaign, aligned with Police enforcement.||1-2||MACC||DIPL/Police||Safe road use|
- Road rest stops in the NT
- Driving in the Northern Territory brochure for travellers (link to resources page)
- Transport Accident Commission (Victoria) - Distractions campaign
- Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) - Distractions campaign
- Road Safety Commission (WA) - Distractions campaign
- Motor Accident Commission of South Australia - Distractions campaign
- Road Safety Advisory Council Tasmania - Distractions campaign
- Justice and Community Safety Directorate ACT - Distractions campaign
- Centre for Road Safety (NSW) - Get your hand off it campaign