Two thirds of UK drivers are persistently breaking the law at the wheel, but might not even know they’re doing something that potentially illegal, a new study claims.
Motorists said they witness plenty of dangerous – and in some cases plain weird – activity taking place in cars on a daily basis, from applying make-up in the rear-view mirror to drivers brushing their teeth on the move.
But despite ratting out other motorists for their wrongdoing, not so many drivers are ready to admit that they’re guilty of the same misdemeanors at the wheel.
Do you have a clean driving conscience? A survey has highlighted the naughty habits they witness at the wheel each day, including motorists brushing their teeth at the wheel
It appears the UK is a nation of motoring Sherlock Holmes’, quick to spot any case of dodgy and dangerous activity taking place on our roads.
Drivers are more than happy to regale malpractice they’ve monitored on the motorway, but they are far less willing to incriminate themselves.
A survey of 1,000 drivers conducted by vehicle check specialist HPI found that 58 per cent of people had seen other motorists drink coffee at the wheel.
However, almost half as many of these people (31 per cent) admit to have a slurp of their latte or cappuccino while driving.
While this isn’t illegal, if the police believe you present a significant danger while drinking on the move they can prosecute for careless driving for failing to have proper control of the vehicle.
A study by Leeds University found that those who took a sip of drink at the wheel were 22 per cent slower and 18 per cent more likely to show erratic lane control, making you standout to any patrolling traffic officers.
Sipping coffee and hot drinks at the wheel is the most commonly spotted misdemeanor and also the wrongdoing that most drivers hold their hands up to
Almost half of the driving panel said they’d seen someone applying make-up while driving, but just 8% admitted doing so themselves
In all, 66 per cent of the panel said they think they’ve witnessed drivers doing something illegal on their travels.
The next most frequent driving no-no spotted by motorists was those topping up make-up at traffic lights.
Almost half (48 per cent) of those surveyed said they’d seen this at one time or another, though ironically just 8 per cent were prepared to own up applying their own glam products.
Other actions the driver panel reported included others staring at themselves in the mirror (40 per cent), eating their breakfast on the go (38 per cent), doing their hair (37 per cent) and taking their attention off the road ahead to eye-up pedestrians or other motorists (36 per cent).
TOP MOTORING BAD HABITS DRIVERS HAVE WITNESSED AND ADMIT DOING THEMSELVES
BAD HABITS DRIVERS REPORTED SEE MOST OFTEN
1. Drinking coffee/hot drinks – 58%
2. Applying makeup – 48%
3. Checking themselves out in the mirror – 40%
4. Eating breakfast – 38%
5. Brushing or grooming their hair – 37%
6. Eyeing-up other road users – 36%
BAD HABITS DRIVERS ADMIT TO DOING MOST OFTEN THEMSELVES
1. Drinking coffee/hot drinks – 31%
2. Eyeing-up other road users – 29%
3. Reaching around the back of their seat – 19%
4. Attempting to take their coat off – 17%
5. Eating breakfast – 16%
6. Applying makeup – 8%
Source: CAP HPI survey of 1,000 drivers
Eating, especially breakfast, on the move was one of the most reported bad habits in the study
In all of these cases, fewer drivers being quizzed said they did all of these things.
Shockingly, one in five said they have witnessed other drivers watching videos on their phone with young drivers being the main culprits.
That’s despite tougher penalties being introduced a year ago with motorists now being hit with a £200 fine and six points on their licence if found operating a handheld device while operating a vehicle.
Young drivers also appear to struggle with their morning routines – a quarter of 18 to 24 years olds said they eat their breakfast while driving and eight per cent even brush their teeth.
Fernando Garcia, consumer marketing director at HPI said the results of the study were ‘alarm’ and were concerned that the most worrying statistics came from the youngest of drivers.
‘What stood out to us is the younger generation who are admitting to using traffic lights as a chance for video entertainment from their phones, even with such severe consequences and enforced tighter laws,’ Garcia said.
‘Whilst some of these habits might pass as trivial, such as taking a coat of mid-drive, is also important to remember the catastrophic result this could cause both to the driver and other road users.’
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