British Drivers Distracted By Their Own Vanity, According To Study


British drivers are regularly distracted by their own vanity, by checking their appearance in car mirrors, according to a new poll.

Spotting an attractive driver at traffic lights is also likely to ensure you are not paying full attention to the traffic.

Women admitted correcting their make-up and hair in the sun-visor mirror – also causing them to take their eyes off the road, as does hunting down their lip balm before parking up.


Meanwhile, vanity isn’t the worst cause for concern, as heavy rain, backseat drivers and spiders or bugs in the car are among the most common motoring distractions, it’s emerged.

Researchers who carried out the detailed study also found debris on the road, children squabbling in the back and dashboard warning lights all lead to drivers taking their eyes off the road.

Following the Sat Nav, adjusting the Sat Nav or changing radio stations also made the list, as did eating food or consuming drinks whilst steering the vehicle.

Accident Advice Helpline

The top 50 common distractions include children fighting with one another, other road users driving with full beams on in the dark and listening to a favourite song on the radio.

Passing popular tourist attractions also feature in the list while other things guaranteed to distract drivers from the road are changing the radio station and watching other people in their cars.

One quarter of Brits struggle to concentrate when getting lost, with three in ten unable to fully focus during heavy rain and on the flip side, passengers failing to give directions is a common distraction for one in six.

Accident Advice Helpline

Accident Advice Helpline commissioned the study of 2,000 motorists via, which also found seeing a classic motor on the road and trying to transport a cake are regular disturbances for drivers.

One in five are often preoccupied by their kids arguing, so it’s unsurprising the same number of Brits find their children are the most distracting of anyone on a journey.

One in six drivers agree their partner causes the most interference when driving, with mum causing the most problems for one in twenty drivers.


Nearly two thirds of those polled admitted there are more distractions now than there were 10 years ago, with more than one in five drivers admitting to having a ‘near miss’ or accident because they weren’t concentrating on the matter in hand.

Some have even been pulled over by the police for unsafe driving caused by driver distractions. Even so, it doesn’t stop nearly three quarters of Brits from enjoying hitting the open road.

Three quarters of British drivers admit they rarely concentrate all of the time when driving, with a third often wondering how they reached their destination safely after zoning out.


David Carter of Accident Advice Helpline said:

There are hundreds of distractions for drivers every day and during a long commute it can be hard to stay focused.

When doing the same journey regularly, road users still need to keep their attention at one hundred per cent as incidents can easily occur as the result of a small distraction.

The sheer volume of traffic on the road and the increase of in-car and mobile technology provide more opportunities for driver distraction ever before.


He added:

Many of the non-fault accident victims that we help could have been saved from injury if the driver at fault was concentrating fully.

Eyes on the prize, people.