Motorists spend a fifth of time ignoring the roadNew research uncovers drivers' lack of focus

19 December 2012

Car insurance journeys

A new scientific study of driver behaviour commissioned by Direct Line reveals that drivers spend 18% of their time behind the wheel not watching the road at all. 

Drivers not paying attention

The Direct Line car insurance research found that car drivers in the UK ignore the road for 18% of their journey, rising to 22% for those using sat nav devices - the total for those without a sat nav was 14%.

With a seemingly high proportion of motorists not paying due care and attention to their driving, having the right car insurance has never been more important. Our list of car insurance Which? Recommended Providers should be your starting point when choosing cover.

Those motorists caught not watching the road were instead gazing at clouds, scenery, adverts and other non-driving related distractions, on average taking their eyes off the road every nine seconds. Which? found similar results when we looked at the distractions of in-car technology

Scientific approach to assessing motorists

Direct Line car insurance commissioned a revolutionary eye tracking experiment to establish where motorists' eyes are really focussed. The experiment saw participants wearing specialist glasses that pinpoint the exact focus of the eye by tracking microscopic movements in the cornea. 

Paul Davies, insurance analyst at Which?, said: 'This new research is a timely reminder that however careful we are as drivers, we can encounter someone who literally hasn't got their eye on the road. Having the right car insurance can give you reassurance should something untoward happen.'

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