Drivers admit being distracted at the wheelFood, phones and passengers all put them off

15 March 2007

Nearly three in five drivers admit to driving while distracted, a poll out today revealed.

Motorists allow attention levels to dip by changing radio channels, talking on mobile phones and being put off by passengers, the survey found.

The poll, by road safety charity Brake and breakdown company Green Flag, also showed that as many as half of drivers have eaten while at the wheel, with 6 per cent confessing to once-a-week scoffing and driving.

Up to 10 per cent admitted to driving while not fully concentrating once a week, with 7 per cent confessing to not paying attention several times a week.

Crash risk

Jools Townsend, head of education at Brake, said: "Concentrating on something inside your vehicle, such as a sat-nav screen or your stereo, is obviously taking your attention away from the road and the job in hand: driving. This greatly increases your chance of crashing.

"If you are hungry or thirsty, need to take or make a phone call or reach for something in the vehicle, it is essential that you stop somewhere safe and take a short break. It could mean the difference between life and death for you, your passengers and other road users."

Nigel Charlesworth, spokesman for Green Flag, said: "Drivers need to remember just how important it is to concentrate on driving as driver distraction causes so many road crashes.

"With so much happening outside the car it's important for drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times and avoid putting themselves, their passengers and other road users at risk."

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