Think and drive

Just what do motorists get up to when alone behind the wheel?

12 April 2012

Just what do motorists get up to when alone behind the wheel?

Just what do motorists get up to when alone behind the wheel?

What do motorists get up to in the car when alone behind the wheel?  One third of drivers sing in the car, while 23% just get lost in their thoughts, according to the latest AA/Populus poll*.

Singing in the car seems to be a trend amongst the young which declines with age as 60% of 18-to-24-year-olds sing in the car compared to just 13% of over 65s.

One third of drivers (31%) succumb to road rage after getting annoyed at traffic or other drivers. This rage affects just one fifth of older drivers but almost half (47%) of young drivers.

Younger drivers (18-24), although most at risk from being killed or seriously injured, are least likely to pray behind the wheel. Amongst all drivers 5% confess to praying on the move, whilst divine inspiration is sought by 14% in Northern Ireland.

2% make use of their journeys by learning a foreign language and another 2% meditate. The over 65s are the most likely to meditate (4%).

Phone addicts

More dangerously 6% are addicted to their phones on the move. The phone addicts are more likely to be male (7%) than female (5%) and most likely to be in the 25-44 age bracket (10%).

Apart from listening to the radio or CDs, the most popular in-car activity was “making plans” or “having ideas”.

We asked

Which of the following do you do when driving alone?

  • Listen to radio/CDs - 89%
  • Make plans or have ideas - 39%                                                    
  • Get annoyed with traffic/other drivers - 31%
  • Sing - 29%
  • Get lost in thoughts - 23%
  • Talk on phone - 6%
  • Pray - 5%
  • Learn a foreign language - 2%
  • Meditate - 2%

Regional differences

  • More car singers in Scotland and East Midlands
  • Road ragers more prominent in London and Northern Ireland
  • More Welsh people learn a foreign language
  • Scots more likely to make plans or have ideas

Bearing in mind the time we spend in our cars and in congestion, it is no surprise that drivers get up to other things behind the wheel

Edmund King, AA president

Comment

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Bearing in mind the time we spend in our cars and in congestion, it is no surprise that drivers get up to other things behind the wheel. It can be a positive thing to be engaged as long as our extra curricular activities, such as learning a language, singing or praying, don’t interfere with driving.”

Next week the AA launches a new campaign called Think and Drive to celebrate World Creativity Day (15 April). To help drivers make the most of the creative opportunity while driving, the AA has teamed up with leading creativity expert Andy Green of the Flexible Thinking Forum to offer a free guide, The AA’s seven point ‘Think and Drive’ plan to transform Britain’s drivers’ creative thinking’ which will be launched next week.

(13 April 2012)

AA/Populus poll of 21,408 AA members conducted 16 – 22 February 2012