One in three drivers admit to radio distractionHighway Code lists distractions like eating

14 April 2008

Cars in a traffic jam

More than a third of motorists are unaware of changes to the Highway Code, according to a new poll.

Hundreds of drivers admitted doing 'distracting' activities while driving, including eating, drinking, smoking, changing CDs or radio stations and telling off their children.

Three-quarters of those questioned said they regularly changed CDs or radio stations while driving, which is considered a 'distraction' by the new Highway Code.

Dangerous

Doing distracting activities while driving is not illegal but the new code advises against them because they could lead to a dangerous situation.

Despite this, the survey found 65% of drivers admitted to eating while driving, 59% to drinking soft drinks, 53% to playing loud music and 37% to arguing with other road users or passengers.

Some 36% said they smoked while driving, 31% said they read a map, 24% chastised children or passengers, 23% drove with items on the parcelshelf or dashboard and 10% admitted using distracting toys or gadgets.

Highway Code

The poll of 2,049 adults was commissioned to mark 75 years of the Highway Code.

Francis Browning of Direct Line Car Insurance said: 'Many of the latest recommendations address certain distractions which would not have existed 75 years ago.'

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