The majority of Britain’s motorists are ‘irresponsible’ behind the wheel and greatly increasing the risk of fatal accidents, research has found.
A poll by Co-operative Insurance found that 54% of motorists are guilty of eating, drinking or even getting changed when they should be concentrating solely on the road ahead.
Of the 3,000 people surveyed by The Co-operative, finishing getting dressed, or putting on make-up, whilst driving was admitted to by 6% of those polled, and 7% admitted illegally using their mobile phone whilst driving.
When running late, 46% of respondents said that they would consider breaking the speed limit. Speeding was also more likely for those who were tired going to or from work, those travelling on motorways and those who needed to go to the toilet. 43% of Brits also admit that a bad mood can push the speedometer past the legal limit.
"Driving a car is likely to be the most hazardous thing we will do each day and yet these alarming figures show over 50% of drivers are unnecessarily increasing the chances of causing or being involved in an accident,” said Grant Mitchell, Function Leader at The Co-operative Insurance.
“Taking a sip of a drink or a quick bite of a sandwich whilst driving may seem harmless. However, the consequence of taking your full concentration off the road could result in a road traffic accident which could change lives forever.”
Mr Mitchell blames the rise in irresponsible behaviour on the developments of technology, which have quickened the pace of day-to-day life and “ultimately led to cultural changes in the way people live”.
But he was keen to stress the importance of due care and attention on the nation’s roads, not just for safety’s sake.
"Every time a driver has to make a claim, due to their own or another vehicle user’s irresponsible motoring habits, it undoubtedly has an effect on the motor insurance premiums of all drivers which is massively unfair on responsible road users who have to ultimately pay for other's mistakes."