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    • Texting times for motorists – as mobile phone menace drives us to distraction

7 June 2010

Texting times for motorists – as mobile phone menace drives us to distraction

- Three quarters of drivers become easily distracted

- 51% vote texting at the wheel as the number one distraction

- Two out of ten admit to having an accident or losing control of the car as a result of getting sidetracked

- Men are twice as likely as women to let their attention wander by ogling someone they fancy

Britain’s drivers are being driven to distraction behind the wheel by talking and texting on their mobile phones, more than six years since the ban on using hand-held phones while driving was introduced.

Despite the fact that the offence carries a potential Ł60 fine and three point penalty, the survey of 3,000 motorists by Autoglass reveals that more than half (51%) of drivers declare that texting while motoring is the number one distraction, with four out of ten (45%) of those polled putting chatting on the phone in second place. The worst offenders are in the over 55 age group - traditionally seen as safe drivers.

Nearly three quarters (71%) admit it’s easy to become distracted at the wheel and alarmingly two out of ten (18%) admit they’ve either had an accident or momentarily lost control of the car as a result of losing focus while on the road, with four percent confessing this has happened on more than one occasion.

Four out of ten (40%) reckon that fiddling with the radio makes them lose concentration, while nearly two thirds (39%) are easily side-tracked by staring at an accident. Children in the car cause over a third (35%) of drivers to become distracted, while three in ten (29%) become preoccupied by lighting up a cigarette.

Other distractions which made it onto the list are eating and drinking, trying to avoid potholes in the road, road rage, worrying about work and finances, singing along to the radio, checking hair/make-up and sneezing. Worryingly sneezing causes nearly half of (47%) motorists to take their eyes off the road for up to two seconds, two out of ten (21%) for up to four seconds and seven percent for up to a shocking six seconds.

Spotting someone saucy can also cause a momentary lack of concentration the survey reveals and men are twice as likely as women (35% compared with 15%) to let their attention wander when spotting someone they fancy. Ladies however are almost twice as likely as men (25% compared with 13%) to have their attention diverted by trying to avoid an animal in the road.

More than eight out of ten of those questioned (87%) are convinced the increase in modern car gadgets is causing more distractions than ever for motorists.

The top ten distractions named by the drivers polled:

1. Texting - 51%
2. Talking on phone - 45%
3. Changing radio/CD player - 40.4%
4. Staring at an accident - 39.8%
5. Eating or drinking - 37%
6. Children in the car - 36%
7. Chatting to a passenger - 32.3%
8. Road rage - 32%
9. Having an argument - 31%
10. Lighting a cigarette - 29%

Autoglass managing director, Nigel Doggett, comments: "Our survey clearly shows that it’s easy for drivers to become distracted for a number of reasons, and that this can often lead to losing control of the car.

"We urge all motorists to observe the law on mobile phone use and think twice about the potential consequences of getting sidetracked while driving. By becoming preoccupied by a mobile phone, argument or staring at an accident, motorists are putting themselves, their passengers and other road users’ lives at serious risk."

For tips on how to minimize distraction at the wheel - view document below.

Related media

Download Tips_to_minimise_distraction.doc  Tips_to_minimise_distraction.doc 48 Kb

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