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A quarter of millennials check social media while driving

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Written by: Danielle Levy
26/04/2019
Social media-addicted millennials are unable to resist taking a look at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles when they are behind the wheel, research has revealed.

In spite of the threat of six penalty points on their licence, being a danger to others on the road, and a fine of up to £1,000, 23% of 18 to 34-year olds are unable to resist checking their social media while driving.

This featured amongst the findings from a survey by Privilege Car Insurance, which revealed that 6% of respondents send messages behind the wheel every day, while 5% check their social media daily while in the driver’s seat.

Privilege Car Insurance found that millennials had by far the worst driving habits of all road users.

Beyond using their phones, 17% have got into a blazing row with a passenger when they should be concentrating on the road and 13% almost crashed because they weren’t focused enough.

A third admitted to slowing down traffic to look at an accident; 24% per cent have overtaken a cyclist too closely; and 11% have cut in front of another motorist.

Bad habits were evident across other age groups: a third of the total sample admitted to attempting to eat or drink while driving in the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, 33% of women confessed to checking their hair and make-up on the go.

One in 10 admitted to staying in the middle or outside lane of a motorway or dual carriageway even when there is nothing in the inside lane.

The same number have set off on a journey in the dark and forgotten to turn on their headlights, while 11% have lost concentration at traffic lights and failed to move off when they turned green.

Another worrying stat was that 4% of all British drivers did not believe they were good at driving.

Charlotte Fielding, head of Privilege Car Insurance, acknowledged that all drivers develop bad habits, many of which can make us less safe on the road. However, she was particularly concerned to see the impact of social media on driving.

“Hopefully by identifying some of our worst habits, we can create more awareness amongst drivers, which will help to eliminate them,” she added.

The 15 deadly driving sins

Here’s a list of the most common bad habits amongst drivers, according to Privilege:

  1. Accelerating to get past an amber light before it turns red – 56%
  2. Eating or drinking – 50%
  3. Refusing to let people in when in a queue of traffic – 45%
  4. Driving with dog(s) in the car without properly securing them – 38%
  5. Indicating too late before changing lanes or turning – 32%
  6. Fiddling with personal belongings – 31%
  7. Getting distracted fiddling with sat-nav – 27%
  8. Failing to indicate at all before changing lanes or turning – 26%
  9. Checking hair, make-up or appearance in the mirror – 24%
  10. Not checking the mirror before signalling – 22%
  11. Deliberately approaching a roundabout in the wrong lane because it has a shorter queue – 20%
  12. = Having a long (hands-free) phone-conversation – 19%
  13. Sending or checking text messages – 15%
  14. Checking social media or other apps – 11%

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