Monday 5 December 2016

Drivers switch off after 11 minutes

Published 29/02/2012 | 10:01

Drivers who set off on long journeys often go into autopilot, a survey showed
Drivers who set off on long journeys often go into autopilot, a survey showed

Motorists on long journeys drive for just 11 minutes before mentally switching off, a survey has shown.

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Some have driven to their office rather than their desired destination after going into "autopilot", the poll by esure car insurance found.

Of the 1,003 motorists surveyed, 25% admitted they got easily bored while driving, with 22% regularly going into autopilot.

As many as 34% had made a journey and had no recollection of it upon arrival. Also, 32% said they changed the radio station or checked their phone to keep their mind stimulated on car trips. Main reasons given for going into autopilot mode were sleepiness and thinking about work.

Drivers in north-east England were the worst for mentally switching off at the wheel, while those in the East Midlands had the best levels of concentration.

As many as 16% of male motorists admitted they went into autopilot mode when their partner was trying to talk to them, while only 10% of women switched off to dodge partners' chatter.

The survey also showed that, on average, motorists waste £47.25 a year in petrol due to driving "extra" miles on autopilot.

Mike Pickard, head of risk and underwriting at esure car insurance, said: "Advances in technology have revolutionised the way we keep our brains stimulated. We all love playing with our gadgets but as this study shows this can become problematic when we get behind the wheel.

"Even on a short journey it is important for all motorists to focus on the road ahead and not let technology withdrawal systems get the better of them whilst driving."

Press Association

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