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On this month’s Crimecall Garda Adrian Corcoran and Garda Lyn Connaugton of the Roads Policing unit highlighted the dangers of “distracted driving”.

The Crimecall team filmed on location with Garda Lyn Connaughton who is a trained Forensic Collision Investigator. Lyn talked about her experience of attending scenes of serious injury collisions some of which have resulted in fatalities.

Dublin Fire Brigade were on hand to illustrate and raise awareness about the serious consequences these collisions have on victims and their families. 

In the first two months of 2021 Gardaí issued 3041 fines to drivers for holding a mobile phone while driving. Now while this is down 39% on the same period last year this figure is still worryingly high when you consider we were in stage (5) lockdown for the duration of this period meaning greatly reduced volumes of traffic on our roads. 

Adrian gave the following key advice

Drivers on mobile phones continue to be a huge problem on our roads. Statistics show that making a call makes a driver four times more likely to be involved in a collision and texting makes a driver 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision. Research shows that if you drive and use your mobile phone (hand-held or hands-free) it will hinder your driving in different ways. It makes it harder for you to:

  • Keep in lane
  • Drive at the right speed
  • Keep a good distance from the car in front
  • Judge safe gaps in traffic 

Driver distraction is a diversion of attention away from activities critical for safe driving toward a competing activity. It is estimated that driver distraction could play a role in 20-30% of all road collisions in this country. 

Garda Corcoran also highlighted the other potential distractions to drivers including having children in the car and using satellite navigation systems. Finally Garda Corcoran outlined the penalties for anyone caught driving in a distracted manner.