Driven to Distraction: Smoking Behind the Wheel

With the new smoking ban for motorists set to come into effect from October, Allianz Insurance has found that almost half (47%) of drivers who smoke admit that they have been distracted by smoking behind the wheel. The majority of these acknowledge that it does affect attention levels so clearly this legislation is an important step on a journey to safer roads.

According to the research, the top five driving distractions are:

1.Speaking on a mobile phone (82%)
2.Messing around with the radio / music system (52%)
3.Smoking (34%)
4.Eating (33%)
5.Loud Passengers (19%)

Previous research from Allianz has informed the insurer that eating, drinking or smoking behind the wheel increases the risk of an accident by 150%. Although its latest research shows that mobile phones are considered the most significant in-car distraction, previous tests have demonstrated that holding a cigarette is as distracting as holding a mobile when driving.

The new legislation will affect drivers and passengers who smoke with under-18s in the car, but many UK motorists have not heard of the ban or what it involves. A significant number of drivers are also not aware that they could face fines of up £800 for breaking the ban, and a fine of £10,000 should their passenger smoke.

Considerate, attentive road users are most welcome at P F Spare Insurance Brokers and we would be pleased to hear from you if you do not feel your current driving efforts are being satisfactorily rewarded. We would certainly try our utmost to reduce your insurance premium.