Drivers face paying more for the motor insurance because they risk fines and penalty points as more than half treat their cars as extensions to their homes and offices when behind the wheel.
Add to that that six out of 10 drivers speed in 30 mph neighbourhoods, according to a recent Department of Transport survey, and it seems many drivers have no respect for the law or safety when out in their cars.
The worst bad habits when driving include:
• Eating and drinking (53%)
• Smoking (12%)
• Prepping for meetings (11%)
• Talking on a non-hands-free mobile (7%)
• Dressing or putting on make-up (6%)
Except for using a mobile, the other activities are not driving offences in themselves – but police can summons drivers for careless driving for failing to have proper control of a vehicle if they consider the action is putting road users at risk.
Drivers also revealed they are most likely to speed when they are running late (46%), when they are in a bad mood (43%), when they are driving on the motorway (30%), when they need the toilet (21%) and when they are tired on their way to/from work (16%).
“Driving a car is likely to be the most hazardous thing we will do each day and yet these alarming figures show more than half of drivers are unnecessarily increasing the chances of causing or being involved in an accident,” said Grant Mitchell, a spokesman for Co-operative Insurance, who compiled the figures.
“Taking a sip of a drink or a quick bite of a sandwich whilst driving may seem harmless but the consequence of taking concentration off the road could result in an accident.
“ Every claim has an effect on the motor insurance premiums of all drivers, which is massively unfair on responsible road users who have to ultimately pay for other’s mistakes.”