Over 80 per cent of motorists admit to losing their focus whilst behind the wheel, choosing to do things such as change radio stations, check their Facebook page, or even take a bite of a sandwich – despite not only the serious safety risk but also the risk of getting their car insurance rates hiked if caught red-handed.
According to the findings of one research study recently published by an online car insurance site, not only do those found guilty of driving without due care and attention face three points on their licence, but they must also face the facts that car insurance companies will raise their premiums by 27 per cent, or more than £200. This means more than £3.3 million in additional funds is paid out every year by the approximately 16,000 UK motorists who are caught driving whilst distracted.
The discount car insurance website’s research found that more than eight out of every 10 drivers admitted to preoccupation while driving. The most common distractions included fiddling with the radio by changing stations at 61 per cent, having a bite to eat or taking a sip from something to drink at 51 per cent, and taking a mobile phone call at 23 per cent.
Further distractions included not using a seat belt, slowing down to watch an accident, and sending text messages whilst driving. A few particularly brazen drivers admitted to applying aftershave, perfume, or make-up, or even going so far as to nod off behind the wheel.
Taking your eyes off the road, even for but a moment to take a bite of a snack or to answer your mobile, can spell disaster, one car insurance expert said. This is because roads in the UK are becoming more and more busy as the years go by, so engaging in activities that lead to distraction are irresponsible and dangerous, the expert added.