60% of Drivers ‘Zone Out’ Behind the Wheel
Ever driven to work and realised you can’t remember any of the journey? You are not alone. A new study commissioned by Continental Tyres reports that 59 per cent forget parts of their journey, while 60 per cent admitted “zoning out” whilst behind the wheel. Over half (51 per cent) say they switch to “auto-pilot” on their daily commute to and from work. The survey of 4,000 motorists found that drivers were only fully concentrated on the road for 67 per cent of the time spent in the driver’s seat. And tuning the radio, talking to passengers and gawping at the scenery topped the list of everyday distractions. Nevertheless 86 per cent of the stereotypically humble and self-deprecating British driving public rate themselves as “good drivers”!
Guy Frobisher at Continental Tyres commented: “These statistics are really worrying. When driving, so much can happen in just a few seconds that you need to be able to react quickly so you can brake safely. If you’re not fully paying attention you are less likely to anticipate the risks that emerge during a journey and reactions are slowed. The net effect is that people are not avoiding the risks and they are less likely to brake in time, meaning more accidents.”
The research found the average driver is on the road for 45 minutes a day and that they are in their own little world for 17 minutes of this time. They make an average of three trips in their car each day. They are distracted at least three times on each journey and for at least four seconds each time. At just 40 mph a car will travel over 18 metres every second.
Some 27 per cent of respondents believe their short attention span is to blame for their poor driving – with more than four in 10 being disinterested in the road ahead and not being able to concentrate for more than 37 minutes. It also emerged 45 per cent have crashed or had a close call due to being distracted whilst behind the wheel.
“Tests show that in wet weather a car travelling at 70mph with 3mm of tread would stop when a car at the legal minimum of 1.6mm would still be travelling at 50mph and not come to a stop for a further 44 metres. It’s then that you hope that other drivers are not only paying attention but also ensuring their tyres are in good condition as well.”