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Driver distraction in Sydney: Drivers' attitudes, awareness and knowledge about driver distractions: Research from two central Sydney communities.

Baker, S, Spina, K (Peer reviewed)



The issue of driver distraction is an emerging one. As new technologies become available for use in motor vehicles its importance as a road safety issue in Australia will increase. The role of distraction in road crashes is only just beginning to be explored and to date only a small amount of research has been conducted.

Research conducted (Horberry et al, 2005) shows there is evidence that in-vehicle sources of distraction are capable of degrading driving performance and compromising safety. Driver distraction must be viewed as a legitimate road safety issue and drivers attitudes to distraction need to be further explored and road safety campaigns implemented. Given the increased risk and high prevalence of crashes associated with distraction demonstrated in overseas studies, and given the effects of distraction on driving performance, there is reason to believe that distraction is a significant contributing factor in crashes in Australia.

In the City of Sydney there has been an increase in lane deviation accidents over the last four years. This has occurred as we have seen a reduction in overall accidents and an increase in ownership of mobile phones. Research indicates lane deviation accidents have been directly related to a driver engaging in a distracting behaviour.