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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 June, 2003, 01:40 GMT 02:40 UK
Drivers 'multi-task' behind wheel
Heavy traffic
One in 20 drivers admit to being distracted behind the wheel
Half of all motorists carry out other tasks while driving including reading, writing and texting, a survey suggests.

One in three people questioned admitted they talked on mobile phones and one in 10 sent text messages.

One in five read or wrote when driving, the survey by insurance firm Zurich said.

Other distractions including feeding a child, putting on make-up or changing clothes.

One in 20 of the 675 respondents said they had been involved in an accident or near miss while being distracted.


Men were more likely to take risks than women and most of the motorists questioned were over-confident about their driving skills.

Zurich says accidents caused by getting distracted while driving can easily cost about 1000.

Company spokeswoman Kathryn Pugh urged motorists to pull over before "multi-tasking".

She said: "For most people their lives today are very hectic, but however good your driving is, multi-tasking whilst at the wheel puts yourself, your passengers, other motorists and your car at risk.

"Safety should always be the priority."

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