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Children the key to safer driving

1 June 2006

They suffer from sleepless nights, constant interruptions and mounting stress levels - but parents are among the safest drivers on the road, according to new research from safe driver champion Privilege Insurance.

The findings reveal that parents driving with children in their car were half as likely to have an accident or breach road safety rules as the average driver.
The tendency to break the speed limit drops when a child is in the car.

Only half the parents surveyed (53 per cent) admitted to having exceeded the speed limit over the past five years with a child present, in comparison with three quarters (77 per cent) of all drivers.

But, more surprisingly, parents driving with a child are more likely to stay focused on the road than the average driver, despite the potential distractions of a young passenger. Almost half (45 per cent) of all drivers admitted to having lost concentration while driving, but this number fell to just three in 10 (29 per cent) when specifically looking at parents.

Similarly, the number of mums and dads who confessed to taking their eyes off the road was 18 per cent lower and the number who admitted drifting out of their lane 11 per cent lower than the average.

In all, three quarters of parents acknowledge their driving behaviour alters when their child is in the car with 58 per cent saying they drive more safely and a third (34 per cent) becoming more likely to adhere to road regulations and laws.

And it is mums that are twice as concerned as dads about being stopped by the police in front of their kids, and more concerned about their children witnessing an accident. But nearly all parents (92 per cent) agree they drive more carefully to keep their little ones safe. Two thirds (63 percent) do so because they value the life of their child over that of their own, while over half (54 per cent) drive better to set a good example.

The research also reveals that parents drive an average of 295 miles a month with their children in the car, which is the equivalent of driving round the
M25 two and a half times a month, or going from Lands End to John O'Groats every three months. www.privilege.com./aboutus/news.htm