Car drivers 'distracted by Twitter'Nearly one in 10 admit to using internet at wheel

11 April 2009

Drivers are using Twitter at the wheel, a new survey shows

Drivers are using Twitter at the wheel, a new survey shows

Motorists are now ‘tweeting and driving’ by connecting to social networking sites such as Twitter at the wheel, it has emerged.

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As many as 9% of motorists are using mobile internet services while driving, with even some boasting of their dangerous antics online, a poll from car insurance firm esure found.

One motorist told Twitter followers: ‘I'm driving with my knees and peeling an orange - probably not the safest thing to be doing.’ Another said: ‘Irresponsible Twitter driving, woo!' while another boasted: 'Awake, hungover, and driving.'

Mobile phones

The survey of 1,000 motorists also showed that while 92% knew it was illegal to use a hand-held phone while driving, as many as 45% sent text messages and made calls while at the wheel.

Also, 37% said they found it impossible to ignore mobile alerts at the wheel, and 19% have rummaged through a handbag, glove box or pocket to locate a mobile phone while driving.

Drivers in the east of England were the worst mobile phone culprits, with Scots the most law abiding in this respect.

‘Time and place’ for Twitter

Mike Pickard, head of risk and underwriting at esure, said: 'There is a time and a place for social networking and it certainly isn't when driving a car. Messages being posted on Twitter from behind the wheel are a real cause for concern for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians.

'Our advice to motorists is to remove this temptation altogether by switching off all mobile technology before driving to ensure focus solely remains on the road ahead.'


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© 2009 The Press Association