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Three Quarters Of British Motorists Admit They Rarely Concentrate All Of The Time When Driving

Heavy rain, backseat drivers and a SPIDER in the car are among the biggest distractions for drivers, according to a new study.

46% of people admitted that yes they do get distracted when driving be it by another person, conditions outside their car or something going on within their vehicle. The figure was slightly higher within women with 48% admitting to getting distracted compared to 44% of men.


Three quarters of British motorists admit they rarely concentrate all of the time when driving, with a third often wondering how they reached their destination safely after zoning out.

The top 50 common distractions includes children fighting with each other, passing scenery and passengers fiddling with the music or heating.

Other road users driving with full beam on in the dark, listening to a favourite song on the radio and passing a favourite tourist attraction also feature in the list.

Trying to operate Sat Nav, seeing a particularly attractive person at the traffic lights and feeling the need to check make-up and hair in the sun-visor mirror also take attention away from the road.

David Carter of Accident Advice Helpline, which commissioned the study, said:

“There are hundreds of distractions for drivers every day, and during a long commute it can be hard to stay focused. When doing the same journey regularly, road users still need to keep their attention at one hundred per cent as incidents can easily occur as the result of a small distraction.”

Other things guaranteed to distract drivers from the road are changing the radio station, singing along to favourite tunes and watching other people in their cars.

While some take their eyes off the road if they want to hunt down their lip balm before parking up, and others admit to being more interested in eating and recovering food.

One quarter of Brits struggle to concentrate when getting lost, with three in ten unable to fully focus during heavy rain.


Back seat drivers are interfering with the concentration of 18 per cent of motorists.

And on the flip side, passengers failing to give directions is a common distraction for one in six.

Changing the radio station, seeing a classic motor on the road and trying to transport a cake are also regular disturbances for drivers.

One in five are often preoccupied by their kids arguing, so it’s unsurprising the same number of Brits find their children are the most distracting of anyone on a journey.

One in six drivers agree their partner causes the most interference when driving, with mum causing the most problems for one in twenty drivers. 20% of people admitted that their driving was typically worse when their partner was in the car compared to when they’re not. Of those people 26% of women thought they drove worse when their partner was in the car compared to just 14% of males.


Nearly two thirds of those polled admit there are more distractions now than there were 10 years’ ago, with more than one in five drivers admit to having a ‘near miss’ or accident because they weren’t concentrating on the matter in hand. That figure goes up to 1 in 4 males who admitted to having been in a ‘near miss’ or accident due to distracted driving.

And some have even been pulled over by the police for unsafe driving caused by driver distractions.

Even so, it doesn’t stop nearly three quarters of Brits from enjoying hitting the open road.

David Carter continued:

“The sheer volume of traffic on the road and the increase of in-car and mobile technology provide more opportunities for driver distraction ever before. Many of the non-fault accident victims that we help could have been saved from injury if the driver at fault was concentrating fully.”


  1. People who drive towards you with full beam on in the dark
  2. Heavy rain
  3. Getting lost
  4. Obstructions / debris in the road
  5. Kids arguing in the back
  6. Back seat drivers
  7. A warning light/weird sound
  8. Trying to follow the Sat Nav
  9. Kids fighting
  10. A bug or spider that has gotten into the car
  11. Passenger not giving directions
  12. Minor accidents
  13. Adjusting the Sat Nav
  14. Changing the radio station
  15. Scenery
  16. Trying to transport something fragile like a cake and making sure it stays safe
  17. Having a row with your partner
  18. Passengers fiddling with the tunes
  19. Passengers fiddling with the heaters
  20. You’re watching the driver behind you in your rear view mirror
  21. General daydreaming
  22. Emergency services travelling on either carriageway
  23. Driving past a tourist attraction like Stonehenge
  24. Eating/food
  25. Being upset
  26. People who have broken down
  27. A pet in the back
  28. Trying to take off a jacket because it’s hot
  29. A pedestrian outside the car drawing attention to themselves
  30. A text coming through
  31. Talking on the phone
  32. You’re too busy looking at what other drivers are doing
  33. Adjusting the temperature
  34. Children making a mess
  35. Classic cars
  36. Kids playing games
  37. One of the kids undoing their seatbelt
  38. Advertising/billboards
  39. Checking to see if your child is asleep yet
  40. When you need something from the glovebox – at 70mph
  41. Attractive driver in the car next to you at the traffic lights
  42. When you drop some food on the floor
  43. Laughing hysterically
  44. Unusual cars
  45. Checking the fuel level
  46. Your favourite song on the radio
  47. Listening intently to the radio
  48. Smoking/vaping
  49. Trying to do up your own seatbelt after you’ve pulled out
  50. Checking yourself in the mirror

Distracted Driving Quiz

*Q1- Reference: Brake http://www.brake.org.uk/rsw/15-facts-a-resources/facts/1131-distractionfacts

*Q2- Having any type of conversation on the phone whether through a hand-held device or hands- free can be equally distracting on the road. Even if both of your hands are on the wheel being involved in a conversation can take your mind off the road. Reference http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/drivers-warned-hands-free-phones-8136348

*Q3: Fog actually reflects light back so using your full beam can reduce viability further. Reference https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/winter-driving/safe-driving-in-fog/

*Q4: References http://www.techtimes.com/articles/8185/20140609/texting-is-more-dangerous-than-drugs-alcohol-while-driving-study.htm and https://www.cnbc.com/id/31545004

*Q5: Reference http://www.ibtimes.com/texting-drivers-take-eyes-road-5-seconds-average-study-699189

*Q6: You cover about 24.6 metres per second while driving at 55mph. Studies have shown that the average time taken to reply to a text message is 4.6 seconds so when you times the two it equals 113m just over the length of an average football field.

*Q7: If all drivers remained focused on the road and their driving some accidents would not happen