50% distracted when driving - poll

Almost half of drivers are seriously distracted by in-car technology while on the road, an RAC survey has found.

As many as 55% of those aged 17 to 24 have their attention taken from driving, with radios and CDs the top distractions.

About a third of all drivers are seriously distracted by satnav systems or mobile phones and 35% by using heating and air conditioning.

Some 85% of 1,034 motorists asked said drivers should be taught how to use in-car technology properly.

Anti-locking brake systems (ABS) and immobilisers are fitted on new cars by law, yet only 70% of motorists knew their cars had ABS, while only 68% knew there was an immobiliser.

In the next 20 years of motoring, 23% of drivers surveyed said they thought cars will have technology that means the driver can input a destination and sit back.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "In-car technology has come a long way since the late 80s. The advances have fallen into two camps.

"Active technologies such as in-car entertainment are not always positive as they can cause driver distraction, while passive technologies, such as anti-locking brake systems, are undervalued as they are not fully understood."

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