Driven to Distraction

SURVEY UK 08/2018

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Berlin, 21th August 2018: Motorists on the road are distracted by their phone, their pets and even the advances of their other half, a study has revealed. Four in five motorists have done something while driving which has potentially put them in danger, including stroking their pet on the way to the vets, putting on their make-up and – for a small number – performing a sexual act.

A social 25 per cent have taken a phone call in the driver’s seat, and 14 per cent have tapped out a text message. A more experimental eight per cent of drivers have tried to operate the pedals using different feet, while six per cent have attempted a sexual act getting from A to B.

Fourteen per cent have even had reason to stroke their pet while on the road, presenting the hairiest hazard on the list. Thirty five per cent have taken their eyes off the road to pass something to the passenger in the backseat, and 20 per cent have kept their foot on the accelerator while checking a map on their phone.

Holger G. Weiss, CEO of German Autolabs, who commissioned the study, said:

Driving is a somewhat mundane part of everyday life for millions of Brits across the country, and this chore-like familiarity can lead us to grow complacent to the potential risks around us.
“And while we are sure many of the four in five drivers guilty of being distracted in the driver’s seat will be confident in their multitasking abilities, we think the findings should be seen as concerning.”

As a result of this distracted driving, 26 per cent believe they have had a near-miss with another motorist, and one in 10 have actually had a collision because their attention was elsewhere. And only a third of drivers would consider themselves a completely safe presence when they hit the road.

Mobile phones are a key source of distraction for drivers, with 31 per cent confessing to checking their device when they should have their minds on the task at hand. Despite this widespread use of smartphones and mobile devices while in the driving seat, 44 per cent were unaware of the legal penalty for doing so – six points on your license and a £200 fine.

And two third of those surveyed believe using your smartphone while driving is just as dangerous as driving after two pints at the pub.And 86 per cent admit it irritates them when they notice drivers in other vehicles using their phone when the road should have their undivided attention.

The average motorists thinks they check their mobile 21 times a day on average, and three of these times will occur while they are driving. To combat the compulsion to check their phone notification on their drive, almost a third have put their device out of reach in the glove box.

There is also a strong perception that younger drivers are more likely to check their phone than more experienced motorists, with 55 per cent of those surveyed believing drivers aged 18-25 are the most easily distracted by their devices. (Full high res infographic in the press kit)  

Press contacts German Autolabs

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