Road Safety News
 

IAM re-ignites smoking debate

Tuesday 16th April 2013

A new survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) indicates that a small majority believe that smoking while driving should be banned – but a sizeable minority believe that such a ban would be unenforceable.

In the survey of motorists, 56% of respondents were in favour of banning smoking while driving, with 45% saying the ban would be unenforceable.

The survey also revealed that 75% think that lighting a cigarette while driving is a serious distraction; 52% think the act of lighting a cigarette is the greatest potential danger of smoking and driving; and just 2% believe that there are no dangers associated with smoking while driving.

48% of respondents claim that smoking while driving is irresponsible, and 46% believe it is as dangerous as driving while using a mobile phone.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “Smoking is clearly seen as a serious issue by motorists and highlights the impact of distractions in the car.

“The health benefits may be clear but more research needs to be done to determine whether there are actual road safety grounds to act on these concerns by banning smoking and driving altogether.”

For more information contact the IAM.

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Nick, How many cars have ever been set on fire by cigarettes? And the danger in using mobile phones is that they take drivers' minds off their driving
Peter, Bristol

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2

If the car manufacturers are no longer including cigarette lighters, why at the same time are they providing drinks holders in vehicles? Is it my imagination, or do I see more and more drivers driving whilst sipping a (possibly hot) drink..... and eating for that matter.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)
+6

I feel that there may be a simplistic view on this, and forgive me for sounding daft... but using a hand held mobile phone was banned due to safety concerns, why should smoking be any different? To my knowledge a mobile phone doesn't set fire to the car if it's dropped, whereas a cigarette does. Surely the fact that car companies producing new vehicles make you pay the earth for a lighter is a sign that thew industry thinks it may be dangerous?
Nick

Agree (3) | Disagree (2)
+1

This is a variation on an RSGB item on 27 Feb:
http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/2694.html

I feel compelled to make the same comment...
I don't smoke but my father did. Preventing a smoker from smoking can make them irritable/aggressive and hence could affect their driving. As always, we are unwise to ignore all possible consequences. And both reports used the same photograph!
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (8) | Disagree (2)
+6

Is the proposal to ban smoking and driving, or to try and ban smoking while driving.

“The health benefits may be clear but more research needs to be done to determine whether there are actual road safety grounds to act on these concerns by banning smoking and driving altogether.”
Keith

Agree (10) | Disagree (1)
+9