Drivers spend up to 18 per cent of journey times distracted, according to a study commissioned by insurer Direct Line.
The experiment used eye-tracking technology to record drivers’ eye movements and found that all motorists spent 18 per cent of their journey looking at things other than the road. This figure increased to 22 per cent for the drivers with a sat-nav.
The biggest distraction for drivers without a sat-nav was looking at buildings, clouds and scenery. This accounted for nearly nine per cent of their drive, compared to two per cent looking at oncoming traffic and three per cent in their mirrors.
Looking at pedestrians accounted for three per cent and, while both men and women were guilty of doing this, only men turned their heads completely away from the road.
“For the first time we know exactly where people focus their eyes when driving and the results are frightening. Even when drivers appear to be watching the road, by tracking movements in the cornea, we now know they are often watching clouds or shop window displays,” a spokesman for Direct Line said.