Driving on Autopilot? You're Not Alone…

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

 Slightly unnerving statistics from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) suggest that as many of 10% of Britain’s motorists arrive at their destination with no idea how they got there.

Out of 1,500 drivers surveyed, a staggering 150 said they often completed whole journeys with no idea how they got there. A further 14% said they quite often couldn’t remember any of their journey, taking the total number of drivetime daydreamers up to almost a quarter.

Those of you who value your no claims bonus may be keen to know where the biggest concentration of bleary-eyed drivers can be found. Broken down by region, the survey showed that 17% of London-based survey respondents often couldn’t remember their journey. Next up is the East Midland and Wales, on 12%, and the South East on 11%. Most alert were the Scots (7%) and residents of the South West (8%).

Those looking to excuse their unfocussed approach to driving might suggest that the brain is still active, even if you’re not aware of it. But the survey cuts out this escape route too. 54% of polled drivers admitted to having missed a turning because they were distracted.

Speaking about the survey, IAM chief executive Simon Best commented:

“It’s all too easy to get behind the wheel and zone out completely. Being distracted enough that you miss a turning is a sign that driving is a task that has fallen too low in your brain’s priorities.“

We couldn’t agree more, Simon. So to avoid unnecessary car insurance claims, here are our top tips for staying focussed on the road:

• Cool your car - your body will prepare to keep warm, making both your body and brain more alert
• Chew gum - you’ll produce insulin to keep you active, while the minty smell will wake up your nervous system
• Drink lots of water - when you’re dehydrated you can become fatigued, so keep hydrated throughout your drive
• Be careful of sugar and caffeine- they can keep you awake, but also nervy and unfocussed, and you’ll become tired more quickly when they start to wear off

1. http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-news--general-news/one-in-10-drivers-on-autopilot/24531.html?  

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