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15 percent of men think about DIY when driving

Motoring Research logo Motoring Research 13/05/2019 Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
distracted driver © Provided by Motoring Research Ltd distracted driver

Seriously, how boring must your car be if you’re thinking about DIY when driving? Unless your name is ‘Handy Andy’ or Tommy Walsh, DIY should be avoided at the best of times, let alone when you’re behind the wheel.

However, according to a survey of 16,307 AA members, 15 percent of men and 9 percent of women admitted to thinking about home improvements while driving. What’s all the more worrying is the fact that just 11 percent of men were concerned about breaking down.

Worrying about arriving on time is the biggest distraction for men (45 percent) and women (57 percent), followed by work (34 percent overall) and planning for the future (25 percent). Money, life admin and social life are all tied on 22 percent.

And you thought ‘Hello Boys’ billboards and exotic motors were the biggest distractions when behind the wheel… 

Just 30 percent of drivers said they only ever think about driving when behind the wheel, meaning two-thirds admitted to being distracted in the car.


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Attention-seeking devices

In many ways, it has never been easier to be distracted while driving. Whether it’s a cursory glance at a mobile phone, using an aftermarket sat-nav or changing the setting on a touchscreen, there are many attention-seeking devices vying for the driver’s attention.

Throw into the mix the fact that cars are easier to drive and safer than ever before, and you have a recipe for distraction. Little wonder the government said that in 2017, there were 4,573 injury crashes where distraction was recorded as a contributory factor.

a close up of a man in a car: mobile phone at the wheel © Provided by Motoring Research Ltd mobile phone at the wheel Of these, 774 were serious and a chilling 125 were fatal. 

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said “The AA Trust has run some hard-hitting campaigns in recent years highlighting the dangers of distracted driving mobile phone use.

“But, while we can all make ourselves more aware of steps to take to minimise certain distractions, like putting mobile phones in the glove box, it is harder to switch our minds off day-to-day worries like childcare or work.

“So long as your thoughts aren’t so demanding that they overwhelm your ability to concentrate on the road then there is nothing wrong with a bit of thinking time in the car.

“Drivers can give themselves the best possible chance of keeping their concentration by making sure they are well-rested before they start a journey and take appropriate breaks on longer journeys.”

The AA table in full

Arriving on time49%45%57%
Planning for the future25%23%28%
Life admin22%19%28%
Social life22%21%22%
Meal planning17%11%27%
Car admin13%13%13%
Breaking down12%11%13%
Child(ren’s) social life9%8%12%
Childcare arrangements4%3%6%
“I only think about driving”30%34%21%

MSN UK are Empowering Happiness for mental health awareness month. Find out more about our campaign and the charities working to stop people falling into crisis here.

Gallery: The greatest car gadgets there's ever been (Autocar)


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