Driver warning

Give the road your full attention – that’s the message from Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership after a study revealed that UK motorists spend almost a fifth of their journey time ignoring the road.

The driver behaviour study – which used tracking technology to record drivers’ eye movements - found that motorists using sat-navs were even more distracted and spent 22 per cent of their time focussed away from the road.

According to the study, the average motorist spends seven per cent of their time on the road gazing at clouds and scenery and 0.8 per cent of their time looking at adverts.

In contrast, just two per cent of motorists’ time is spent watching oncoming vehicles and only 0.6 per cent looking at road signs.

Researchers also discovered that motorists spend the same amount of time – three per cent – watching people walking along the pavement as they did checking their mirrors.

Partnership chairman Mike Ashworth said: “We’re urging drivers to protect themselves and others by giving the road 100 per cent of their attention.

“You’re more likely to crash if you get distracted because you can’t react as quickly to what’s happening on the road.

“Don’t drive tired and be sure to pull over if you need to re-programme your sat-nav, tune your radio, use your phone or have something to eat or drink.”

The driver behaviour study was carried out by research company Bunnyfoot on behalf of insurance company Direct Line.

It took place in August 2012 and involved a representative sample of 100 UK drivers in locations including London, Sheffield and Oxford.

Participants wore special glasses that pinpoint the exact focus of the eye by tracking microscopic movements in the cornea.