One in four Brits admits to getting frequently distracted while driving
Our recent survey found that over a quarter of UK individuals get frequently distracted whilst behind the wheel.
With driving distractions so rife, we have investigated the individuals who are the most susceptible to getting distracted while driving and provided six expert tips on staying focused whilst behind the wheel.
One in four Brits get frequently distracted whilst behind the wheel
Our recent survey uncovered that a staggering one in four (26.36%) individuals in the UK say their minds frequently wander while driving. Men (30%) were found to be more susceptible to experiencing distractions while driving when compared with women (26%).
One in six Brits cannot go more than 15 minutes without checking their phone while driving
Driving distractions can take many forms, though it was found that our phones are one of the most common culprits. One in six individuals surveyed admitted that they could not go longer than 15 minutes without checking their phone while behind the wheel.
Men (21%) were significantly more likely to get distracted by their devices when compared to women (16%). Generation also played a significant role in our susceptibility to mobile distractions; a staggering 37% of Gen Zs struggle to take their eyes off their phones compared to just 5% of Baby Boomers whilst behind the wheel
Cardiff is home to the most distracted drivers in the UK
Our survey found that those who reside in Cardiff (40%) are the most susceptible to distraction behind the wheel, closely followed by those in Belfast (37.29%) and Birmingham (35.42%).
Brighton (14.04%) and Plymouth (17.74%) were found to be home to some of the UK’s least distracted drivers.
Expert reveals 6 tips for maintaining focus while driving
Senior editor at Heycar Dan Powell suggests the following six tips to help you maintain your focus while driving:
1. Plan your journey
It doesn’t matter if your journey is great or small; it always pays to be prepared for your trip.
It is important to check local traffic and weather conditions before you set off and make sure you have a plan B route mapped out, should your travels be disrupted by major road delays.
2. Clean your car
Ensure your car’s windows and mirrors are clean at all times. Even a small amount of dirt buildup could cause a distraction.
It is therefore important to get into the habit of cleaning your car’s windscreen every two weeks. Clean the inside of the windows and windshield once a month with a high-quality glass cleaner. The door mirrors and rearview mirror should also be cleaned regularly.
3. Get comfortable
Do you share your car with a partner, friend or family member? If so, you will probably need to adjust the driver’s seat before each trip. You should be able to see the road clearly and reach the pedals and controls comfortably without having to overstretch.
Make sure you adjust the headrest, so it provides the correct level of support. And don’t forget to check your door mirrors, as these may have been adjusted since the last time you drove the car.
4. Pair your smartphone and put it away
Most modern cars have some form of smartphone connectivity that will allow you to pair your phone with the vehicle’s infotainment system and accept hands-free calls. More advanced smartphone mirror systems, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, will allow you to use voice controls to set the sat nav or change the radio station.
Once your phone is paired, put it away in the glove box or a door pocket and keep it there until the end of the journey, so it will not distract you on your trip.
5. Take regular breaks
The Government suggests that as many as one fifth of accidents on motorways and other monotonous types of roads may be caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
It is therefore vital that you take regular breaks to remain focussed and alert at the wheel. If you can, plan a 15 - 20 minute break every two hours.
6. Get an eye test
The NHS recommends an eyesight test every two years. This is important because it will identify any eye health problems and also highlight any issues you may have with your vision.
A minor eyesight condition over a long journey can strain your eyes and make you unduly tired, so booking a regular eye test is vital to maintain your driver's focus.
Sources and methodology
The survey data collected in this study was based on a survey of 2,003 UK individuals, which took place in December 2021.