Distractions put drivers at risk

A growing number of accidents are caused by drivers being distracted at the wheel, putting both them and their passengers at danger, according to a new survey.

More than 90% of motorists polled by car rental comparison site Carrentals.co.uk admitted to having steered a car with their knees while they held a drink or other item. And one in seven drivers have asked the front-seat passenger to hold the wheel while they attended to other matters, such as tying a shoelace or checking a map.

"The survey findings surprised us, because they showed just how common it is for people to be doing other things while they are driving," said Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk.

"The variety of activities that take place behind the wheel is vast, but our main concern was for road safety. The introduction of the new laws are very welcome, and this survey backs up the decision to toughen up on careless drivers whose actions can cause tragic consequences."

Almost 20% of those surveyed said they knew of someone who had had an accident because they were distracted by driving. Incidents claimed for on car insurance policies ranged from bumping the car in front to driving into a hedge.