Driven to distraction

* Roadside landmarks cause safety fears * Drivers admit to accidents because of attractions * Stonehenge is most dangerous...

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What Car? Staff
19 March 2009

Driven to distraction

An estimated four million motorists have had an accident or near miss because they were distracted by a famous roadside landmark, according to new research.

The study, carried out by esure car insurance, revealed that two thirds of drivers surveyed admitted they are distracted by roadside landmarks and have often taken their eyes off the road to stare at the attractions.

The research found that Stonehenge in Wiltshire gets most driver's heads turning, with Antony Gormley's Angel of the North coming a close second.

Top 10 most distracting landmarks:

1) Stonehenge, Wiltshire
2) Angel of the North, Tyneside
3) London Eye, London
4) Windsor Castle, Windsor
5) Celtic Chalk Figures, Dorset
6) Wembley Stadium, London
7) Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland
8) Long Man of Wilmington, Sussex
9) Humber Bridge, Hull
10) The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland

Over a quarter of those questioned admitted they have had to brake suddenly when driving past a landmark.

A further 63% admitted that passengers had encouraged them to take their eyes off the road to look at a roadside attraction.

Almost 50% of those polled said that landmarks should not be built next to busy roads because they distract drivers.