A nationwide survey of drivers, by an online motorhome insurance provider, reveals that on average drivers setting off on long journeys take only a few minutes before they switch off from the real world and go into “autopilot”.
The remarkable revelation comes after more than 1,000 motorists were questioned about their driving habits when making lengthy journeys. The survey revealed that 1 in 4 became quickly bored when driving for any length of time with roughly the same amount saying they soon “switched off” when in their vehicle. On average it takes just 11 minutes for a driver to perform manoeuvres “unconsciously”, and amazingly 34% confirmed this by admitting they often had no recollection of the journey they had made upon reaching their destination.
Mike Pickard, head of the company who carried out the survey, said “Advances in technology have revolutionised the way we keep our brains stimulated. We all love playing with our gadgets but as this study shows this can become problematic when we get behind the wheel. Even on a short journey it is important for all motorists to focus on the road ahead and not let technology withdrawal systems get the better of them whilst driving.”
Apparently the survey showed up marked regional differences with drivers in the North East the most likely to switch off while those in the Midlands stayed more attentive than drivers anywhere else. Most drivers said work problems and tiredness were the main reasons for them actually going into autopilot. When asked how they managed to combat the feeling, most said they turned on the radio but alarmingly 1 in 3 said they checked their phone for messages as a way of staying alert!