A new study has revealed the various top driver distractions people have admitted that take their eyes off the road, including phones, singing and even sex acts.
The research revealed four in five drivers have potentially put themselves and others in danger by putting on make-up, caressing their beloved pet or eating fast food.
One in four have taken a phone call in the driver’s seat, and 14 per cent have tapped out a text message.
Another eight per cent of drivers have tried to experiment with operating the pedals using different feet, while six per cent have attempted a sexual act on their partner while travelling from A to B.
35 per cent have taken their eyes off the road to pass something to the passenger in the backseat, and 20 per cent have kept their foot on the accelerator while checking a map on their phone.
Holger G. Weiss, CEO of German Autolabs, who commissioned the study, 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 four in 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.
As a result of this distracted driving, 26 per cent believe they have had a near-miss with another motorist, and one in 10 have actually had a collision because their attention was elsewhere.
Mobile phones are a key source of distraction for drivers, with 31 per cent confessing to checking their device when they should have their minds on the task at hand.
Despite this widespread use of smartphones and mobile devices while in the driving seat, 44 per cent were unaware of the legal penalty for doing so – six points on your license and a £200 fine.
86 per cent also admitted it irritates them when they notice drivers in other vehicles using their phone when the road should have their undivided attention.
The average motorist thinks they check their mobile around 21 times a day, and three of these times will occur while they are driving.
There is also a strong perception that younger drivers are more likely to check their phone than more experienced motorists, with 55 per cent of those surveyed believing drivers aged 18-25 are the most easily distracted by their devices.
Holger G. Weiss of German Autolabs added:
We believe, as younger people can often only afford older cars without voice command technology, they are more likely to take their hands off the wheel to check a text or WhatsApp.
We believe we have a solution to this problem with our product, Chris, which launches in September.
Top Driver Distractions:
1. Passed something to a passenger in the front seat
2. Sung along to a song at the top of their lungs
3. Thrown something into the backseat
4. Passed something to a passenger in the backseat
5. Eaten fast food
6. Taken a phone call
7. Made a phone call
8. Taken off a coat or jumper
9. Adjusted hair
10. Looked at a map on a phone
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.