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Distracted drivers get a dressing down

Falling asleep at the wheel on a long and boring journey is frightening, dangerous and increasingly likely given the fact so many people set off still dressed in pyjamas.

A quarter of Britain's motorists drive in their bedclothes.
A quarter of Britain’s motorists drive in their bedclothes.

According to Confused.com, a quarter of Britain’s motorists have jumped behind the wheel while dressed for bed. The firm surveyed 2,000 drivers to learn about risky driving habits, and found one in ten motorists had driven in slippers, and 25 per cent in jim jams. It doesn’t record how many brought pillows and blankets too.

The survey underscores what we all know already: that many drivers act as if driving is a minor task easily accomplished while getting other stuff done.

Driving while yakking on a handheld phone may be illegal but it’s still commonplace. Similarly, one in ten women have put on makeup while driving, and 15 per cent of men have had a shave. We can only guess how many men have put on makeup, or how many women have shaved their legs while steering from A to B.

A hungry 46 per cent of drivers have stuffed their face on the move, presumably not with a knife and fork, while an amorous 47 per cent of men admit to checking out the talent in other vehicles. And by talent we don’t mean driving skill.

Women are clearly more bashful behind the wheel, with only 18 per cent saying they look other drivers up and down. But many are probably preoccupied trying to work the pedals with stilettos, given that 40 per cent of women seem happy to drive in high heels. At the other extreme, roughly the same number have driven in flip-flops.

Of course the survey is not entirely designed to plumb the depths of the nation’s idiocy. Confused.com hopes we will all stop and consider how we might make our own journeys safer. Women who habitually wear high heels, for example, might consider keeping a pair of sensible driving shoes – not slippers, mind – in the boot of the car.

And finally, if you’re reading this story while driving – stop.

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