An international two-day conference on road safety is making its way to Sydney.
This is the first time the International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention is being held outside Europe. The annual event is to be held in November.
The focus of this year's conference is distraction and the automated vehicle. Researchers will also discuss how findings from safe driving experiments held in a controlled environment compare to real world situations.
This announcement comes at a time when researchers Christopher Irwin, Sophie Monement, and Ben Desbrow at the Griffith Health Institute, Queensland have made a significant contribution to road safety research.
The study reveals that one quarter of road accidents are a result of driver distraction. However, the key finding of the research is that texting and driving is not the only hazardous distraction Australian drivers engage in. In fact, driver concentration decreases significantly for those who choose to munch behind the steering wheel.
Need for Australian drivers to be more attentive
Driving is a complex task that requires complete and undivided attention. Over time drivers start ignoring the complicated nature of their task and engage in other activities, such as talking with other passengers, using their mobile phones and eating and drinking.
Alarmingly, the Griffith study shows that Australian drivers have a false perception of safety. Those who participated in the study believed eating while driving to be a safe activity. However, the results indicate quite the contrary. Eating while driving can be just as dangerous as texting and driving.
According to NSW law, drivers are required to maintain control of the vehicle at all times. So, while eating during driving is not illegal it can have serious legal consequences if drivers lose control of their vehicle as a result
The NSW government is taking serious action to control driver distraction, especially because recently released statistics show that NSW roads continue to hold the record for the highest number of fatal crashes across the country.
Technology steps in to improve road safety in NSW
The NSW government has been working with app developers since September last year to create real-time traffic apps to help road users.
Thanks to this effort, road users now have access to five apps with a range of services. These apps include expected travel times, traffic reports, hazards to expect and road incidents. You can check out more details about these apps on the NSW transport page.
- Snarl: Users can find out about the current state of congestion and incidents on NSW roads via this app.
- TripGo: Designed for those who want to find the most efficient journey using both road and public transport options. This app designs itineraries around information on home, work and calendar events.
- Auto: Best for users who often travel to a number of locations and want to see the status of the roads to help them plan when to leave.
- Plan A: Use this if you have a busy schedule and want up-to-date information on congestion and suggested travel times. The app will also alert you indicating the best time to to leave so you can arrive on time.
- EasyDrop: For commercial users, an interactive tool to help drivers manage daily delivery schedules, and plan for the fastest routes.
As well as driving safely it is important to ensure your vehicle is safe and that your green slip and registration are current. You can check on the expiry of your green slip and registration on this website. To make a green slip comparison check out this nifty green slip calculator.