Drivers switch to autopilot after 11 minutes

| March 2, 2012 | 0 Comments
Drivers switch to ‘autopilot’ after 11 minutes

A study by car insurance provider, Esure, has found that drivers suffer from a lapse in concentration just 11 minutes into a long journey.

Esure questioned more than 1,000 motorists in the UK about their driving habits and attention span.

22 per cent of those surveyed said they fell into ‘autopilot’ easily, while 34% said they had sometimes had no memory of a journey when they arrived at their destination.

Several drivers admitted they had driven to work, instead of their intended destination, after going into autopilot mode.

Boredom and fatigue were given as the main reasons for loss of concentration, while others said their concentration wavered while thinking about work.

Worryingly, 32% said they had tried to combat boredom by switching radio stations and music regularly, while others admitted checking their phone.

A lack of mental stimulation has led to 13 per cent of motorists having an accident or near miss whilst driving.

Not only is driving on autopilot dangerous, it is also expensive; esure found that British motorists waste £47.25 a year in petrol by driving unnecessary miles while on autopilot.

The problem is worst in the North East, where 43 per cent of drivers admitted driving on autopilot, compared with just 15 per cent in the East Midlands, where drivers were found to be the most focused.

New technology allows driving performance to be taken into account by insurance companies when they set car insurance premiums.

A study commissioned by Coverbox in 2009 analysed four billion fields of data from 250 million miles of vehicle journeys, collected with telematics technology.

The report, which assesses the driving performance of tens of thousands of drivers, will presented to a panel of insurance companies this month.

Coverbox believes it reveals “an overwhelming case for changing the way the insurance industry sets premiums”.

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