Everybody who knows how to drive has been guilty of looking at things other than the road, what with so many distractions such as advertisements, smart phones, and even other people in the car. Although many take those momentary interruptions for granted, a recent study featured on The Telegraph has shown just how much time the average driver spends looking at everything else but oncoming traffic--and the results are quite worrisome.

UK insurance company Direct Line commissioned the study which worked with several motorists who were asked to wear special glasses. These glasses monitored movements of the wearer’s cornea, recording them so that researchers can fully establish what exactly each motorist has been focusing on.

The results showed that drivers spend 18 percent of their time not looking at the road, taking their eyes off it every nine seconds. Worse, those with satellite navigation systems or smart phones with GPS are distracted 22 percent of the time, which means that they’re checking their mobile devices six times more than they’re actually focusing on where they’re going.

Other distractions include advertisements, the scenery, and even good-looking bystanders.

In the Philippines, Inquirer.net reports an average of 600 deaths from 5,000 road accidents during the first quarter of 2012. According to its sources, the use of mobile phones while driving is one of the main causes of these unfortunate incidents.

Although traffic in the metro is oftentimes horrendous due to road rules barely followed, it’s important to always be the bigger person by being responsible behind the wheel. Satellite navigation systems are helpful, as long as you make a conscious effort to focus on the road and not on your digital map. Avoid answering calls or texts when driving. Not only will being focused and calm on the road keep you safe, but you’ll also be able to assure the security of others on the road with you.

(Photo by Meghan via Flickr Creative Commons)

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