Shaving, doing your hair, telling off the kids… all in a day’s work for UK drivers: IAM RoadSmart

12.00 | 14 September 2017 | | 2 comments

A new poll conducted by IAM RoadSmart appears to show that some drivers are treating their car as ‘an extension of the bathroom’, with a range of personal grooming activities going on behind the wheel.

Published today (14 Sept), 55% of the 2,300 respondents to the poll claim to have seen a driver styling their hair, while 24% say they have seen a driver shaving.

The three most frequently observed potentially distracting activities highlighted in the poll are smoking, eating and drinking – all of which have been observed by more than 95% of those surveyed.

82% say they have seen a driver telling off children, while 63% have witnessed a driver looking at a laptop or tablet screen. 46% say they have seen a driver trying to control a pet, while 3% say they have seen a driver reading a book.

IAM RoadSmart says ‘most worryingly’, many of these distracting behaviours are being witnessed time and time again on ‘nearly every journey’.

More than half (57%) of respondents said they have been affected by drivers who had been distracted for the reasons identified in the survey.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “We understand that the pressures of modern life mean we cannot always keep our cool, especially when children and pets often don’t understand the concept of ‘concentration.’

“But it is exactly in these situations that a tragedy can occur. Talking to any passengers can wait until there are no other potential problems around. Pets should always be securely transported in their carriers.

“As far as the other bad habits revealed in the survey, these are all things that should be done at either end of the journey – not during it. Otherwise they can be a major distraction to the driver.”

Category: Driver distraction.



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    It won’t be a “startling revelation” to most people Hugh but by having “evidence” i.e. the results of the survey IAM were able to produce a press release which creates publicity for the issue being raised together with the ability to remind “ourselves” that these distractions are not good and to provide advice on how to avoid these distractions.

    “We” may know that these distractions are bad but perhaps “they” don’t? Perhaps it falls under the umbrella of regular “nudges” with the aim of effecting behavioural change?

    My personal favourite “distraction” was the report of a chap practicing the trumpet whilst driving into New York every morning.

    Nick, Lancashire
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    …..and the rest…. speeding; tailgating; poor road positioning; disobeying traffic signals; wrong way around mini-roundabouts; illegal and inconsiderate parking; risk taking; impatience; phone use; risky overtaking; drivers not looking where they’re going; head in the clouds driving.. and lots more besides. All equally bad practices and the respondents to the poll will have seen all those as well. What was the purpose in a poll asking what percentage of people have seen what we all see ourselves? It’s hardly a startling revelation.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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