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The everyday tech dangers driving Brits to distraction
- Almost half of Brits (46%) have put themselves in danger because they’ve been distracted whilst walking or driving
- One quarter of young people (26%) say having a smart phone has made them less careful on the streets
- One in eight Brits (11%) think they are more easily distracted as an adult than they were as a child, with number rising to one in five 16-24 year olds (21%)
- Figures released to mark UK’s second annual Accident Awareness Week
New research released today by National Accident Helpline shines a light on the technology habits that are driving the nation to distraction – and sometimes danger.
The study of 2,047 adults, carried out by Censuswide for National Accident Helpline to mark the UK’s second annual Accident Awareness Week, reveals that almost half of Brits (46%) have put themselves in danger because they’ve been distracted whilst walking or driving. Almost one in five Brits (19%) have walked into someone or something because they were looking at their phone while walking.
Adults less careful than kids?
The survey suggests that technology is having an impact on adults’ attention spans. Almost one in eight Brits (11%) admit to being more easily distracted as an adult than they were as a child, with the number rising to one in five among 16-24 year olds (21%). Over one quarter of 16-24 year olds (26%) believe that having a smart phone and other technology makes them less careful on the streets.
One quarter of Brits (26%) said texting and using WhatsApp was the most likely cause of distraction, rising to 49% of 16 to 24 year olds. One in eight Brits (12%) think they are less ‘street wise’ than they used to be, including almost 20% of 25 to 34 year olds.
The top tech distractions
The research paints a picture of pervasive technology impacting every aspect of everyday behaviour. Here is a list of the top ten tech-related activities that are most likely to stop Brits paying attention when out and about.
- Texting or using Whatsapp
- Talking on the phone
- Using a maps app
- Browsing social media sights or apps
- Checking and sending personal emails
- Taking photos
- Checking and sending work emails
- Listening to music, radio, audio books or podcasts
- Playing games
- Online shopping
It’s not just technology that drives us to dangerous distraction. Almost one in three adults (30%) admit to being distracted by conversations with friends and one in four adults (25%) said that daydreaming was most likely to cause inattention whilst out and about. Other dangerous habits include looking for items in pockets or bags, and attending to children and animals.
Beth Powell, Marketing Director for National Accident Helpline, said:
We can all relate to the daily distractions of technology, whether it’s taking a call when crossing the road, or bumping into a lamppost while checking our Facebook feed. However, it’s important to remember that pedestrians, like motorists, have a duty to take proper care and pay attention to their surroundings. Whilst most accidents caused by common distractions are relatively minor, we hear from many people who have experienced serious accidents which have had a devastating impact on their lives.
We have launched Accident Awareness Week to help raise awareness of the many avoidable accidents that happen every year in the UK. This Accident Awareness Week, we want people to pause and take a moment to put their safety, and that of those around them, first, so we can avoid accidents in the home, on the street and at play.
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