From today and until 20 September there will be extra surveillance under the management of the Traffic Authorities (DGT) on Spain’s road network. It is part of an annual programme of special events and is extra significant as distractions are the one of the biggest cause of fatalities on the roads. In 2019 and for the fourth year running distraction was the main factor in 28% of road fatalities.
This year the municipal police will also be involved in order to further strengthen the campaign. One of the main results of distraction is a head on collision with another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.
The authorities have 12 helicopters, drones, 216 fixed cameras and fifteen unmarked vans at their disposal.
In order to avoid distractions, the traffic authorities recommend the following:
• Before taking the wheel: Sleep well, do not ingest alcohol and other drugs, do not eat large meals, take care of the intake of certain medications.
• On the way: Better not to smoke, and if you feel drowsy, stop.
• Maintain a comfortable temperature: 21 or 22 degrees is an advisable temperature.
• Careful with the mobile: It is an important cause of distractions. Use only for emergencies and with the car stopped. It is recommended to activate the ” car mode ” in those devices that have it.
• Radio / MP3: Handling them distracts us, systems that are controlled directly from the wheel are advisable. Programming stations and CDs before the trip is a good option.
• Traveling with GPS: Trying to program a route while traveling is very dangerous. It must be done before.
THE MOBILE: THE KING OF DISTRACTIONS
One of the main reasons for driver distraction is the use of a mobile phone while driving. Its use multiplies by four the risk of suffering an accident and the risk is comparable to driving with excess alcohol.
Using the mobile phone while driving means taking your eyes off the road for a certain time in which you travel a series of metres without the driver having control of the vehicle, since the attention is focused on the mobile.
According to the latest Distractions report prepared by RACE, 96% of the surveyed users confessed to having seen someone talking on their mobile while driving (80% on a regular basis) and 76% said they used it without speaking, only manipulating or looking at it. The report details that in the case of social networks, 18% of drivers admit to having used social networks while driving, of which 12% do so regularly. This percentage increases to 17% among young people between 18 and 24 years old.
OTHER FACTORS THAT CAUSE DISTRACTION
• Sleep and fatigue are two risk factors that are very unknown and at the same time highly implicated in road accidents: rear ending, leaving the road, or invading the opposite lane are very frequent types of accidents due to these factors.
• Smoking and driving: lighting a cigarette takes an average of 4 seconds. At a speed of 100 km / h, in that time we will have traveled 113 metres. According to the conclusions of various research studies, smoking while driving multiplies the risk of an accident by 1.5.
WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?
The Road Safety Law considers it a serious offense to drive using mobile phone devices, Sat Navs or any other communication system manually, as well as driving using headphones or other devices that reduce the mandatory permanent attention to driving.
These infractions involve a fine of 200 euros and the loss of 3 points.