Which is more dangerous for a driver?
17 June 2010

Back seat arguments impair your driving as much as alcohol at the legal driving limit, according to a report by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

The report revealed reaction times of drivers decreased by an average of 13 per cent when distracting children were in the car, exactly the same as when a driver had an 80mg blood alcohol level, the drink-drive limit.

Dr Nick Reed, a researcher for TRL, said: "There was a noticeable impairment to driving caused simply by the noise of arguing children."

The study also showed distracted drivers braked suddenly 40 per cent more often, and their stress levels increased by over 30 per cent.

In real world driving conditions this would this would add car length to the stopping distance from 70mph.

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Comments
8

17 June 2010

today we have been told reducing the drink drive alcohol level to 50mg from 80mg will save over 100 lives per year.

If having children acting up has the same effect as drinking upto the current limit, i sugest if they lower the level to 50mg in future at the same time the maximum number of children allowed in a car at once should be 1 to reduce the chance of arguements. As far more journeys are done with children on board than with drinkers driving ( i am guessing here, but judging by the trafic around schools at drop off and collection time it seems a fair assumption) the number of lives saved by my proposal should be far greater - Unless the school run mums are also drinking to deal with the stress of having kids in their cars.

17 June 2010

[quote artill]i sugest if they lower the level to 50mg in future at the same time the maximum number of children allowed in a car at once should be 1 to reduce the chance of arguements.[/quote]

Ha ha! I agree. I think we should also ban other problems that may distract the driver: Radios, eating, drinking, the million different signs on each journey, Sat Nav....

Hmmm. We could also ban under 24s from driving faster than 20mph (most likely casualties) and over 70s. Come to think of it, I have a new rule. You can only drive:

after 5 years of extensive testing,

a Volvo (V70 naturally)

at no more than 20mph,

for a maximum of 1000 miles/yr

on a motorway (safest roads)

with no one else in your car and in utter silence.

Failure to do so will result in an 10yr prison sentence followed by life on a bicycle ;o)

The comments section needs a makeover... how about a forum??

17 June 2010

Parents often buy those little signs which say "Baby on board" or something similar. That's a warning to other drivers that the driver is probably distracted and may swerve into you at any moment when they turn around to talk to/clean/whack/yell at their kids. Perhaps we should have similar signs for drink drivers...

17 June 2010

Bring back those internal windows behind the driver (like they still have in London cabs). Otherwise just buy two seaters. I remember as a child a neighbour had 4 children. His wife drove an Espace, he an Esprit. A great role model.

17 June 2010

This is only a problem with hatches/wagons/MPVs. With a saloon you can always lock a noisy child or in-law in the boot to get peace and quiet.

17 June 2010

Isn't this why people with only two kids buy S-Max's? so you can put the kids at least 3 metres away from you.

I don't think the drink limit will have much effect, the way the nations body mass (including mine) is increasing its going to take a rapidly increasingly amount of booze to get the blood concentration up to any limit!

17 June 2010

Maybe following a reduction in the alcohol limit for driving, there may be a corressponding reduction in childbirth.

Two birds, one stone.

17 June 2010

[quote benst]Parents often buy those little signs which say "Baby on board" or something similar. That's a warning to other drivers that the driver is probably distracted and may swerve into you at any moment when they turn around to talk to/clean/whack/yell at their kids. Perhaps we should have similar signs for drink drivers...[/quote]

Would not be seen dead with any sign in my car relating to having kids on board, but with two boisterous boys in the back life can get a little unbearable when driving, however, while the wife is telling me to pull over now I often find myself telling them all to shut up and wait for a suitable parking gap at the side so as not to irritate other drivers by me just pulling over without warning.

I would tend to agree with the findings that Autocar report.

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