Two fifths of drivers happy to text while driving

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Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

More than two fifths of drivers don't think that they would be prosecuted if they were caught texting behind the wheel, new research has discovered, as many motorists gear up for bank holiday getaways.

A survey carried out by What Car? discovered that many motorists hold a number of misconceptions about driving law, with 41 per cent of respondents believing that they'd get away with texting while driving.

Of those questioned 46 per cent said that they would drive barefoot, despite the risk of it leading to an offence, if for instance something sharp on one of the pedals prevented the driver from being able to safely stop the car. One motorist even believed that they could get away with driving through at least one red light before being prosecuted.

Half of respondents were also unaware that eating or drinking while driving could lead to a prosecution if the driver was deemed not to be in total control of the car.

What Car? editor, Jim Holder, said: "The bank holiday getaway is stressful enough on the roads as it is, without ending up with an unwanted fine and penalty points. But it seems that the UK motoring public is not as aware as it should be of some avoidable legal issues."

A total of 69 per cent of respondents didn't realise that towing a caravan or trailer without the correct entitlement on their licence could land them with a motoring conviction.

Holder added "By simply being aware of basic motoring law, motorists can avoid several driving errors that could ruin a long weekend away. More importantly, reserving such things as eating and drinking for breaks in the journey will mean that the risks to your passengers and other road users are minimised."

Holidaymakers driving abroad should also make sure that they are up to speed on local road laws. For instance, those driving in France need to have a breathalyser in the car, as well as several other items, including a high-visibility vest, a warning triangle and spare headlamp bulbs.
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