Young drivers 'don't pay attention'

Young drivers 'don't pay attention'

Half of younger drivers admit to regularly not concentrating when they are behind the wheel, according to a new survey.

Research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) shows that 50% of drivers aged 18-24 said they do not concentrate on driving 100% of the time.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Signs of not concentrating such as missed turnings or uncancelled indicator lights are commonplace. Simply not concentrating is a key cause of crashes yet it is not borne out in statistics because drivers rarely admit to it in police reports or on insurance forms.

"These results reconfirm stereotypes surrounding younger drivers and the ease with which they can be distracted away from staying safe. The key is to build up as wide a range of experiences as possible as you learn and to look upon your driving as a skill that needs continuous improvement."

The research is only likely to strengthen the argument that younger drivers are more likely to have an accident and therefore should pay more oninsurance premiums.

The poll of 1,500 drivers showed that in total only 60% of drivers always concentrate behind the wheel.

However 73% of over 65 year-olds said they always concentrated on the road, with 26% admitting to concentrating most of the time.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "Concentration is an essential and critical part of driving, but it is difficult to maintain a high level of focus on one particular task for a sustained period of time which is a challenge for every driver.

"The mind wandering is probably the single biggest obstacle to maintaining concentration aside from the in-car distractions of passengers. While there are inevitably differences in the way people estimate their levels of concentration while driving it is interesting that younger people in this survey appear not to be as focussed on controlling their vehicles as older people.

"These findings are a particular cause for concern when as you consider that young drivers aged under 25 make up 25% of all those drivers killed or seriously injured on the road network, despite only accounting for 8% of licence holders.

"What's more they drive, on average, less than half as far as those aged over 25."

The reasons for not concentrating vary but 30% of young drivers and nearly a quarter of all drivers say daydreaming is often the culprit.

Stress, thinking about arriving at the destination and thinking about personal relationships are also common reasons.

Copyright Press Association 2014