Children in the car are the No 1 distraction for drivers, according to a new survey.
A total of 29% of drivers admitted that their kids are their biggest distraction while driving, according to road safety charity IAM.
Busy lifestyles and the constant need to multi-task also score heavily with mobile phone use, texting and social media updates also featuring.
Other top distractions include:
• Changing the radio channel (27%)
• Back seat drivers (26%)
• Sat nav (15%)
• Attractive pedestrians, drivers or passengers (14%)
Interestingly, nearly a quarter of men (23%) admit to being distracted by attractive people compared to just 3% of women.
Distractions are a major cause of accidents with 9% of drivers admitting that they have crashed because they were distracted.
According to police statistics, mobile phone use and other distractions were a factor in up to one 105 deaths on our roads last year.
IAM’s top tips for driving with kids:
• Keep them occupied by introducing games that promote and reward quiet behaviour without needing the driver’s direct involvement
• Portable games consoles or in-car DVD players will keep kids occupied for hours. But don’t forget the headphones – the soundtracks can be just as distracting as the children
• If you are planning a long journey, make sure you’re organised – take plenty of food and drink to avoid constant demands from the back seats
• Allow extra stops. Find somewhere for them to stretch their legs and let off steam, such as a playground or a park. Save yourself the panic and research some local parks and playgrounds where you plan to stop off
• Have a plastic bag (without any holes!) with you in case of travel sickness
• A second adult in the car to look after the children makes a massive difference, leaving the driver to concentrate on driving
• Don’t turn round to deal with fighting kids while you’re still in motion – find somewhere safe to stop first
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “People who think they can multi-task while driving are kidding themselves. If you take your eyes of the road for just two seconds at 30mph, you’ll travel close to 90 feet, effectively blind.”