According to the newest research* by The AA many drivers are watching the clock, thinking about work and looking ahead to the future all whilst being behind the wheel. A third (30%) of drivers said they only think about driving and navigation when they are behind the wheel.
The research also found a significant difference between the things that played on men and women’s minds when driving. Below is a table exploring these differences. The findings conclude that the only thing, except driving, that plays on male drivers’ minds more than women’s is DIY. Women were more than twice as likely as men to think about meal planning and twice as likely to think about childcare arrangements when driving.
|Arriving on time||49%||45%||57%|
|Planning for the future||25%||23%||28%|
|Your social life||22%||21%||22%|
|Your child (ren’s) social life||9%||8%||12%|
|I only think about driving||30%||34%||21%|
Londoners are most likely to think about arriving on time (52%), Welsh drivers are the most likely to think about future planning (27%) and those in the West Midlands are most preoccupied with money (25%).
According to official .Gov research official accident data, in 2017, there were 4,573 injury crashes where driver distraction** was recorded as a contributory factor – 774 were serious, and 125 were fatal.
The AA Charitable Trust has previously run high-profile campaigns highlighting the ongoing dangers of mobile phones, distracting drivers. The campaigns included the award-winning Designated Driver videoand a student-made video, Cadence.
Edmund King, Director of the AA Charitable Trust, said “The AA Trust has run some hard- hitting campaigns in recent years highlighting the dangers of distracted driving mobile phone use.
“But, while we can all make ourselves more aware of steps to take to minimise certain distractions, like putting mobile phones in the glove box, it is harder to switch our minds off day-to-day worries like childcare or work.
“So long as your thoughts aren’t so demanding that they overwhelm your ability to concentrate on the road then there is nothing wrong with a bit of thinking time in the car.
“Drivers can give themselves the best possible chance of keeping their concentration by making sure they are well-rested before they start a journey and take appropriate breaks on longer journeys.”
The AA has released a new video surrounding the dangers of distracted driving and offers advice to drivers to reduce the risk of mental disruptions: www.theaa.com/driving-advice/safety/driver-distractions