Ogling an attractive woman pedestrian is one of the main causes of driver distraction among men, says a survey.
A quarter of male drivers admitted that a shapely female turned their heads – but only three per cent of women said a good-looking man took their fancy.
The survey followed the case of a British man who was fined $100 and told to take a driver awareness course after admitting he was distracted by a female pedestrian.
“The girl had a very nice backside and I wanted to check out her face to see if it was as nice as her figure,” said Doug Maclean, 26. “It’s what practically every bloke on the planet would do.”
Police pulled him over and showed him a dashboard camera picture they’d taken of him doing the illegal u-turn with his neck. “They told me that if I agreed (that he wasn’t paying attention to the road), I could have a fixed penalty fine and would have to attend four hours of driving awareness courses,” said McLean.
“Otherwise I would be summonsed and then I’d get points on my licence too. Of course, I took the fixed penalty and the driving course.”
Was the object of his affections really worth the hassle? “The girl was a cracker,” Maclean said. “But it wasn’t worth getting a fine for.”
The survey found the main cause of driver distraction wasn’t shapely women – but disruptive children. Three out of every 10 drivers admitted that squabbling kids in the back seat diverted their attention from the road ahead. So did looking at the view. It was the second most identified problem, followed by changing the radio, and ‘advice’ from back seat passengers.
Road safety charity IAM surveyed 1500 British motorists. Its chief executive Simon Best said: “People who think they can multi-task while driving are kidding themselves. If you take your eyes of the road for just two seconds at 30 miles per hour (50km/h), you’ll travel close to 90 feet (27.5m), effectively blind.”
In the same survey, nine per cent of drivers admitted they have crashed because they were distracted. According to police statistics, mobile phone use and other distractions were a factor in more than 100 deaths on British roads last year.
Children in the car: 33%
Looking at the view: 32%
Changing radio: 28%
Backseat drivers: 26%
Mobile phone calls: 21%
Satellite navigation: 14%
Attractive pedestrians: 14% (men 24%, women 3%)
Billboards, shop fronts: 14%
Phone texts: 9%
Lighting cigarette: 6%
Digital dashboard: 7%