British motorists will spend more than eight months of their life stuck in traffic jams, a study revealed yesterday.
Researchers found the average driver will spend five hours and 44 minutes behind the wheel each week – but an hour and 56 minutes of that is spent sitting in traffic.
This adds up to just over eight hours each month or four days a year.
From the age of 17, that’s a total of 6,182 hours – or eight months and two weeks – waiting for traffic to move.
But rather than waiting patiently, bored drivers are often watching what’s going on around them, playing games on their mobile phones and even checking their Facebook profile.
Almost one in ten even admits to having had an accident because they became distracted while stuck in a jam.
Paul Carroll, director of professional services for Specsavers, which carried out the study said: ”When you’re sat in traffic wondering how long it will take to get moving, it can be all too easy to let your mind drift off onto other things.
”This study reveals a large number of people aren’t taking road safety seriously.
”But drivers not only need to concentrate fully on the road ahead, they also need to make sure they can see clearly and are wearing the appropriate prescription glasses or sunglasses.”
The poll of 3,000 drivers found that traffic jams are now a regular occurrence, with 19 per cent in a jam every day.
Another 22 per cent find themselves in a slow-moving or stationary queue of cars a couple of times every week.
But researchers found that it’s not just traffic jams where Brits are letting their minds wander with two thirds of drivers admitting they are often easily distracted when they are behind the wheel.
And almost three quarters admit that they don’t always give the road ahead their full attention.
Thirty per cent of drivers even owned up to having had an accident or near-miss because they weren’t concentrating properly on the road.
Paul Carroll, from Specsavers, added: ”With winter nights drawing in, it’s vital that drivers take extra care and ensure that their vision is up to scratch before getting behind the wheel.
”We’re highlighting the importance of concentration when you are behind the wheel, to support Road Safety Week.
”We are also raising awareness of the need for regular eye examinations for drivers, with up-to-date prescription specs, so that they have one less distraction.”
Top ten things that British drivers do while stuck in traffic
1. Listen to music
2. Watch other drivers in their cars
3. Watch people out on the street
4. Send a text message
5. Make a phone call
6. Have something to eat
7. Check Facebook or Twitter profile
8. Send emails
9. Apply my make-up
10. Play games on my mobile phone