100,000 accidents were blamed on touch screens in cars – NRK Vestland

Gjensidige and the Swedish Road Safety Association, through Ipsos, conducted a survey of 3,500 motorists.

Of those who felt the touch screen took their attention away from the road, one in three said the screen led “dangerous or uncomfortable traffic situation”.

In part of these “unpleasant situations”, the screen led to real accidents or misfortunes.

In pure numbers, this means that touch screens are the cause of more than 100,000 accidents, says Bjarne Aani Rysstad, communications manager at Gjensidige.

He described accident figures as “disappointing” and called Norway’s limit on distracted drivers a “new epidemic” causing “death and disfigurement”.

Technological progress is great, but something disappointing has happened with the behavior of Norwegian drivers, he said.

Rysstad adds that the actual numbers are clearly higher than the statistics capture. They stand behind Trygg Trafikk’s proposal to ban all printing that does not fit on the steering wheel.

– Touch screens are the cause of more than 100,000 accidents, says Bjarne Aani Rysstad, communications manager at Gjensidige.

Photo: Mats Stordal / Mats Stordal

Ingunn Handagard of the NAF told NRK that they do not want such a ban especially in Norway as “it will be difficult to enforce and cause many drivers to break the law unintentionally”.

In a New York Times article, they say the solution to disrupting technology is that best technology.

Mikkel Friis of the Road Traffic Information Council (OFV) points out the same, and refers to new control systems that allow the driver to speak or point to the car – instead of pressing.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration launched the campaign

Last week, NRK wrote about an alarming report from Germany that concluded that the use of screens in new cars “represents a serious insurance risk”.

The survey was received as a wake-up call among European car associations, which will now discuss whether there should be common requirements for design and job allocation.

The German test comes on top of several other reports.

  • A 2019 Swedish survey shows that people spend more time navigating the screen than traditional buttons and menu wheels.
  • In 2020, a study by the British road safety organization IAM RoadSmart showed that drivers who “play” with large screens have a longer reaction time than those who drive drunk.

Last year the Swedish Road Administration launched the “Thank you for the attention” campaign after reports that a number of accidents were caused by a lack of attention and that the practice was continuing to increase.

In June they called a tough meeting after what they called Norway’s “unfortunate summer”.

So far this year, 70 people have lost their lives on Norwegian roads. That’s more than double from the first half of 2021.

An important source of entertainment

The project manager at the Transport Economics Institute (TØI), Tor-Olav Nævestad, told NRK that “almost half of the fatal accidents in the period 2017-2020 have inattention, distraction or fatigue as contributing factors”.

The statement is based on data from the Accident Analysis Group (UAG) of the Norwegian Road Administration.

This shows great potential for risk reduction if we find effective ways, says Nævestad.

He noted the German experiment reported by NRK last week:

It seems that the test points to an important source of interference. Given that new cars have these screens, it will be important to find common solutions that minimize the distraction of the screens as much as possible.

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