January 5, 2011

Stuck in traffic? Then why not hunker down over your handheld and while away a few idle moments reading this fascinating story?

Why not? Because you and may others will probably die horrible RTA-type deaths as a direct consequence. That’s why.

A firm called Specsavers, who probably repair old pairs of glasses or something, have been studying the nation’s driving habits come up with some pretty startling findings.

We’ll get to the bit about being stuck in traffic in a minute, but first this. Specsavers say two thirds of drivers are “often easily distracted” and a third have crashed or nearly crashed while not paying full attention.

Jim Lythgow is a man with a very grand title: director of strategic alliances for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare. “After deep sea fishing and coal mining,” Jim says, “driving 25,000 miles a year on business is the third most dangerous activity in the UK.” Bankstone News will be watching its mileage extra carefully now as it travels between alligator wrestling and chainsaw juggling gigs.

With his corporate eyecare hat firmly in place, Jim worries that “The actions of ordinary drivers may be putting company drivers at risk.”

Jim has studied 3,000 drivers and found that the average Brit spends one hour and 56 minutes sitting in traffic per week, i.e. one day per month or eight months and two weeks of the average adult life just sitting there waiting for traffic to move.

Are they just sitting there waiting patiently, paying close attention to the road around them? No they are not! They are “playing games on their mobile phones and even checking their Facebook profile” with 10% admitting to having had an accident “because they became distracted while stuck in a jam.”

Don’t be like them, reader! Just accept the loss of eight months and two weeks of a life that’s over soon enough anyway with some semblance of good grace.

Just supposing, however, you find maintaining total traffic focus at a standstill too great a challenge, Specshavers have provided a handy list of the top ten things to do while stuck in traffic:

1. Listen to music
2. Watch other drivers in their cars
3. Watch people out on the street
4. Send a text message
5. Make a phone call
6. Have something to eat
7. Check your Facebook or Twitter profile
8. Send emails
9. Apply some make-up
10. Play games on your mobile phone


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