Car insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk reports on the outcome of a recent survey carried out by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) on smoking behind the wheel.
According to the results of a recent survey carried out by the IAM, 56% of motorists in England think that smoking whilst driving should be banned. Interestingly though, half of those polled did not believe that such a ban could be effectively imposed in England.
The survey revealed that 75% of the drivers interviewed thought that lighting a cigarette whilst driving is a serious distraction, leading the IAM to conclude that the respondents clearly had a concern about the effect of smoking upon a driver’s ability to control a vehicle.
Back in July 2009 a law was introduced in England ruling that company vehicles are required to be smoke-free if they are used in the course of voluntary or paid work, or to transport members of the public. However, there has been no law put in place governing smoking in vehicles in general.
Other results from the IAM survey further highlight the negative perception of smoking and driving. Many respondents felt it was:
- Irresponsible (48%)
- As dangerous as using a mobile phone (46%)
- Dangerous (43%)
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Smoking is clearly seen as a serious issue by motorists and highlights the impact of distractions in the car”.
Andrew Goulborn, Commercial Director of car insurance
comparison site Tiger.co.uk, commented: “Clearly there are health benefits associated with not smoking but whether or not it causes a threat to road safety needs to be researched further. The Highway Code doesn't state that it is an offence to smoke while driving. However, if the behaviour causes a motorist to drive badly then they could be charged with careless driving in the same way as someone changing a CD or eating. All drivers need to stay safe behind the wheel which means avoiding distractions and remaining focused.”