Are Young Drivers More Distracted?

Are young drivers more distracted?

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If drivers under the age of 20 ever wondered why their insurance premiums were so high, new research showing the most likely driving distractions on UK roads could shed some light on the subject.

According to MoneySupermarket.com, drivers under the age of 20 are the most likely group to be distracted by music, eat or drink behind the wheel of a car and even text while driving.

After asking 2,000 motorists about their biggest distractions behind the wheel, results showed younger drivers were more likely to be distracted - leading to potentially dangerous accidents.

The most common driving distraction was listening to music, changing the radio station or choosing a new song, with 54 per cent of drivers admitting to being distracted by this at some point.

The second-most distracting thing to do behind the wheel is drinking hot and cold drinks while driving, according to 47 per cent of the people surveyed.

However, this figure rises to an incredible 80 per cent for drivers under the age of 20, putting them at the top of the distracted drivers chart once again.

In third place, or more accurately joint second, is eating, which once again was voted as the most distracting thing while driving by 47 per cent of UK drivers.

It is followed in the revealing list by perhaps the most worrying distraction behind the wheel; using a mobile phone.

In total 16 per cent of people admitted to being distracted by a mobile phone while driving even if that is by taking or making calls using a hands free system.

More worryingly, a similar number of motorists admitted writing text messages while driving, with under 20s once again topping the list when it came to this dangerous - and illegal - habit.

Using a mobile phone behind the wheel, even when stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic, is an offence in the UK.

If caught, drivers will be given an automatic fixed penalty notice, three points on a licence and a fine of £60 as a base punishment.

However, it could also lead to a court appearance, disqualification from driving and a maximum fine of £1,000.

Other distractions behind the wheel include 'canoodling' with partners (eight per cent), applying cosmetics (seven per cent) and using phone apps (three per cent).

However, the figure that really jumps out is the one referring to sleeping behind the wheel. Described as 'the stuff of nightmares' by MoneySupermarket.com, four per cent of motorists admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel.

In a change to the norm, this category was most likely to happen to those over the age of 70 instead of the much-maligned under 20s age group.

Responding to the survey, MoneySupermarket.com said: "It is recommended that you try to avoid these driving distractions; if you are caught you could be charged with 'driving without due care and attention', which could see you issued with a fine and penalty points on your driving licence.

"This will not sit well with insurers and those who are issued with such a penalty can expect to see their car insurance premiums increase."