June 9, 2010

In a week when fashion house BIBA called for a freeze on IPT, the ABI called for insurer exemption from FAT tax, buyers queued up at Provident’s door, and Wonkall Insurance signed up as main sponsors of Doncaster Rovers Football Club, Bankstone News perversely chooses instead to bring you the latest news on what’s distracting Britain’s drivers.

Love, as Phil Oakey used to say, is just a (pause) distraction. Not as much of a distraction, however, if the latest Autoglass survey of 3000 drivers is to be believed, as so-called SMS action.

Yes, once again texting has emerged as the nation’s favourite alternative to paying attention while at the wheel, with 51% citing it as their number one distraction of choice. Talking on a mobile was close behind on 45%, with the over-55s (sample-size related statistical anomaly?) emerging as the worst offenders.

The top ten distractions were:
Texting 51%
Talking on phone 45%
Changing radio/CD player 40.4%
Staring at an accident 39.8%
Eating or drinking 37%
Children in the car 36%
Chatting to a passenger 32.3%
Road rage 32%
Having an argument 31%
Lighting a cigarette 29%

The survey also found that men were twice as likely to be distracted by attractive members of the opposite sex sighted at the roadside (35%) while women were twice as likely to be distracted (25%) by avoiding animals in the road.

Which reminds Bankstone News of the true story related by a close acquaintance of the occasion in the early 90s, when, having recently moved to a new house, he accidentally ran over a cat while pulling up outside his new home. Seeing that the animal was in terrible pain and unlikely to survive, he decided to do the decent thing and administer an automotive coup de grace. As he reversed, leaning out of the side window to align his back wheel perfectly with the mewling cat’s head, his neighbours’ front door opened and the animal’s owners demanded vigorously to know what he thought he was about. An uncomfortable exchange ensued.


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