Bath School of Motoring and Lanham's Driving School Ltd

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Drivers on autopilot

Written by: Bath School of Motoring


The amount of people driving on 'autopilot' has increased by a third in just over six years, says new research.

The study found that eight in ten road users admit they sometimes drive on autopiot-zoning out for some or all of their journey.  A similar study in 2009 found six in 10 failed to concentrate throughout their trip.

A quarter of all drivers said that being distracted happens as often as one in five journeys, with around one in six men admitting they often cannot remember the entire journey.

The study of 2,000 drivers for Continental Tyres determined that women drivers are nearly twice as likely as their male counterparts to compile a mental shopping or 'to do' list whilst men listen to music, the radio or podcasts.

It was also revealed that men are far less worried that being an autopilot motorist impacts their safety, with 41 per cent not bothered if they sometimes tune out - 24 per cent more than with women.

Professor John Groeger, driving psychologist, said: "Driving is a complex task that requires our attention but not necessarily our absolute concentration, as long as everything is happening like we expect it to on the road.

Withour concentration, reacting to something unexpected may simply take too long for us to respond to safely."