Apparently 76% of UK drivers report they are bored when driving and a whopping 55% think this makes their driving worse.
Are Bored Drivers Dangerous?
Some boffins have looked into the issue and they did actually discover that bored drivers have 1.5 times more accidents than other drivers because their driving style becomes riskier in order to reduce their boredom. In addition, thinking about things other than the road and daydreaming are more common when bored which reduced reaction times. So boredom behind the wheel is bad!
The ‘Secret Lives of Cars’ Survey asked what people did when they were bored and driving. The top coping mechanisms were;
- Playing music, 61%
- Singing 38%
- Eating 16%
Of course we suspect not everyone gave honest answers because we all know that a vast number of drivers take calls and even text while they are driving as well as applying make-up! We might think that a couple of seconds with our eyes off the road is no big deal – but at 60mph you travel 60m in 2 seconds which is a long way to drive blind while you send a pointless text!
A quick perusal of the internet reveals various polls where people have owned up to how they deal with boredom behind the wheel. There are a few sensible ones like planning your tea or trying to drive fuel efficiently. There are far more stupid and dangerous suggestions such as seeing how many people you can annoy by driving slowly in the fast lane and eating food.
So it does seem that bored drivers are a risk on the roads and their coping mechanisms might be even more dangerous.
Making UK Driving More Interesting
The Your Cover study asked people how our roads could be made less boring. The most common answers were;
- Reduce traffic jams, 48%
- Good Surfaces, 45%
- Better scenery, 39%
The first two suggestions are good ones but the third is a bit worrying. If you’re driving you should not really be looking anywhere but the road! Distractions such as Stone Henge and the Angel of the North might make trips less boring but they make them more dangerous – drivers are distracted and slow down drastically causing accident hot spots.
So boring drivers are dangerous but so are drivers who do things that stop them being bored. So how should we square this particular circle then? Well we’ll end with some sage advice from the Allianz team;
“We advise motorists to plan regular breaks and maybe open up the window to get some fresh air in the car to stay alert. Snacking whilst driving can divert attention from the road, so to keep safe we would always recommend stopping for short refreshment breaks.”
Remember do lots of what Jon says above and none of what Mr Bean does below!
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