A NEW study claims to have uncovered the most common distractions that are causing as many as four out of five drivers to lose focus behind the wheel.
A massive 80% of drivers conceded they don’t always focus on the road ahead when they are driving, according to a study by German Autolabs.
Top of the list of reasons was the use of mobile phones. Roughly a quarter of respondents admitted they’d made or taken a call on a handheld phone when in the driver’s seat. In the UK, the penalty for doing so is six points and a £200 fine.
Some 20% of those surveyed said they’d scrolled through a map on their phone when driving, while 14% of people revealed they had typed out a text message on the move.
Rear passengers proved to be the next biggest distraction, with more than a third of drivers saying their attention had been diverted by passing items to people in the back — something to which many parents will relate.
Further down the results table, some more unusual reasons for concentration lapses were given. Eight percent of respondents said they’d attempted to use a foot other than the usual one to operate the brake and throttle pedals, with close to double that saying they had been distracted by stroking a pet while driving.
More than a quarter (26%) of those surveyed confessed they’d had a near-miss because they were distracted, with 10% of the respondents admitting they had been involved in a crash because they weren’t paying attention. A third of drivers said they were “completely safe” behind the wheel.
German Autolabs CEO Holger G Weiss 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 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.”