Mind Over Motor – 70% of Drivers Admit to Letting Their Thoughts Drift Off Driving

• 49% of drivers report regularly thinking about arriving on time while driving
• Women are more likely than men to think about childcare, work and life admin behind the wheel
• 34% of drivers report thinking about work
• 25% of drivers often think about the future behind the wheel
• Over 65’s were the best at keeping their concentration with 45% saying they only think about driving and navigation
• AA release new video surrounding the dangers of distracted driving: https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/safety/driver-distractions

According to the newest research* by The AA many drivers are watching the clock, thinking about work and looking ahead to the future all whilst being behind the wheel. A third (30%) of drivers said they only think about driving and navigation when they are behind the wheel.

The research also found a significant difference between the things that played on men and women’s minds when driving. Below is a table exploring these differences. The findings conclude that the only thing, except driving, that plays on male drivers’ minds more than women’s is DIY. Women were more than twice as likely as men to think about meal planning and twice as likely to think about childcare arrangements when driving.

All Men Women
Arriving on time 49% 45% 57%
Work 34% 31% 39%
Planning for the future 25% 23% 28%
Money 22% 21% 24%
Life admin 22% 19% 28%
Your social life 22% 21% 22%
Relationships 18% 17% 22%
Meal planning 17% 11% 27%
Car admin 13% 13% 13%
DIY 13% 15% 9%
Breaking down 12% 11% 13%
Your child (ren’s) social life 9% 8% 12%
Housework 7% 4% 13%
Childcare arrangements 4% 3% 6%
Other 5% 5% 6%
I only think about driving 30% 34% 21%

Londoners are most likely to think about arriving on time (52%), Welsh drivers are the most likely to think about future planning (27%) and those in the West Midlands are most preoccupied with money (25%).

According to official .Gov research official accident data, in 2017, there were 4,573 injury crashes where driver distraction** was recorded as a contributory factor – 774 were serious, and 125 were fatal.

The AA Charitable Trust has previously run high-profile campaigns highlighting the ongoing dangers of mobile phones, distracting drivers. The campaigns included the award-winning Designated Driver video and a student-made video, Cadence.

Edmund King, Director of the AA Charitable Trust, said “The AA Trust has run some hard- hitting campaigns in recent years highlighting the dangers of distracted driving mobile phone use.

“But, while we can all make ourselves more aware of steps to take to minimise certain distractions, like putting mobile phones in the glove box, it is harder to switch our minds off day-to-day worries like childcare or work.

“So long as your thoughts aren’t so demanding that they overwhelm your ability to concentrate on the road then there is nothing wrong with a bit of thinking time in the car.
“Drivers can give themselves the best possible chance of keeping their concentration by making sure they are well-rested before they start a journey and take appropriate breaks on longer journeys.”

The AA has released a new video surrounding the dangers of distracted driving and offers advice to drivers to reduce the risk of mental disruptions: www.theaa.com/driving-advice/safety/driver-distractions