Forget sipping a cappuccino, tuning the radio, or smoking a cigarette: the most distracting thing you can do in the car is transport children.
Children have been voted the biggest in-car distraction - beating hand-held phones and using satellite-navigation in a recent poll conducted by LV= insurance (Liverpool Victoria). They were named the major reason for loss of concentration when driving, effectively putting drivers at greater risk of having an accident.
The latest Government figures show that of nearly 150,000 accidents in a year, 2895 were caused by a distraction in the vehicle.
The same study revealed that women are more likely than men to switch into 'automatic pilot' while driving, a phenomenon which means they don't concentrate and arrive at their destination with no recollection of how they got there. As many as three-in-five drivers switch into automatic pilot when driving, putting themselves and other road users at risk.
Here are some tips to help keep your children amused and reduce your risk of being distracted:
• Carry travel games, books or toys to entertain children;
• Encourage them to play peaceful games of I-spy or spot particular cars;
• Plan your route so you don't end up lost and fighting with the map;
• If you've got sat-nav, program your route before you set off ;
• Load CDs and programme your favourite radio stations before you leave;
• Take regular breaks to refresh yourself, and to allow the kids to let off steam.
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