So we're banning using cellphones but not driving into the sun

From the Herald this morning we have a list of distractions and the statistics associated with those distractions in motor vehicles. A couple of things stand out for me. We are banning the use of hand held cellphones but for some reason we aren’t banning the driving of a vehicle towards the sun or some other source of dazzling light? which is 5 times more fatal. Distractions on the road.

Last year’s statistics on road crashes show 40 people died as a result of diverted attention. Reading is not listed. So one can presume that map books will still be sold, navigation devices but we can’t use a cellphone unless it is handsfree.

We are banning the use of handheld cellphones but looking at the scenery is just as lethal and in fact more likely to cause injury. Perhaps blinkers should be fitted to drivers positions so they concentrate on the road in front.

As for passengers….well you are 8 times more likely from killing yourself by having passengers in the car than talking on a cellphone. I think we could sue the car manufacturers here for putting pesky things like passenger seats in the cars in the first place.

Despite the nazi-like policing of roadside signs by Transit NZ there were zero fatalities and only 4 non-fatalities. A whole department of transit can be disbanded just based on those figures alone.

Other isn’t broken out but I suspect a dropped hot pie in the lap or a apilt coffee would a significant causes there. Perhaps service stations and food outlets should have mandatory inspections to ensure that pies arnd the like which may be consumed with motor vehicles are at a safe cold temperature.

Reasons for distraction:

  • Cigarette, radio, glove box etc – 223 non-fatal accidents, 6 fatal.
  • Cellphone or communication device: 116 non-fatal, 1 fatal.
  • Driver dazzled: 205 non-fatal accidents, 5 fatal.
  • Advertising sign: 4 non-fatal accidents, 0 fatal.
  • Emotionally upset – 92 non-fatal accidents, 7 fatal.
  • Animal or insect in car – 24 non-fatal accidents, 0 fatal.
  • Passengers – 146 non-fatal accidents, 8 fatal.
  • Scenery or people outside vehicle – 145 non-fatal, 1 fatal.
  • Trying to find house or intersection – 42 non-fatal, 0 fatal.
  • Other – 154 non-fatal 9 fatal