February 9, 2018

Now, clearly your car will cruise comfortably at 150mph down the autobahn on a quiet night; but you’ll be lucky to do 15mph if you’re driving in UK urban traffic. But, whatever speed you’re doing, common sense would strongly suggest it’s a good idea to (do as Paul Evans’ seven little girls instructed and) keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead.

Hopefully you’d be doing exactly that with your foot on the floor between Essen and Emden, whilst using the pad at the base of your thumb to pound out the beat of Bon Jovi’s best hits on the stitched leather rim of the wheel.

But if you’re stuck in traffic somewhere twixt Knaresborough and Harrogate, you’ll like as not get tired of looking at effectively the same view of Skipton Road for hours on end, and seek visual stimulation elsewhere.

Foreign car makers Peugeot have been looking into the question of exactly where UK drivers are pointing their peepers and have uncovered some pretty disturbing facts. Not the least disturbing of which is that motorists on Britain’s urban roads spend less than 7% of their time looking where they’re going.

That’s right, drivers who spend an hour driving at 30mph are looking at the road for only 28 of the 30 miles travelled.

“Yes but what is that in football pitches?”, you are probably screaming in uncomprehending fury. It is, since you ask (and since Peugeot have kindly undertaken this important calculation for us in their press release), ‘the length of almost 32 football pitches’.

Given that in 397 of the 1,445 fatal crashes recorded on Britain’s roads in 2016, ‘failure to look’ was a contributory or factor, this lack of focus is clearly a cause for concern.

Thankfully Peugeot has reimagined the driver experience interface to minimise the potential for ‘look failure’. The carmaker’s new i-Cock pit system sees vehicles fitted with tiny little steering wheels and raised instrument panels, to stop drivers’ eyes moving around so much when they are driving.

Hopefully that should do the trick.

David Smugman demonstrates the near impossibility of looking anywhere but straight ahead when using Peugeot’s i-Cock pit system


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