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DISTRACTED drivers are failing to focus their attention on the road ahead, according to a new survey from Britain’s most trusted opticians¹.

Specsavers’ study of the nation’s driving habits² has revealed that two thirds of drivers are often easily distracted. Almost three quarters admit that they don’t always give the road ahead their full attention, while 30 percent of Brits owned up to having had an accident or near-miss because they weren’t concentrating properly on the road.

Paul Carroll, Specsavers director of professional services, says: ’When you're sat in traffic wondering how long it will take to get moving, it can be all too easy to let your mind drift off onto other things. But drivers not only need to concentrate fully on the road ahead, they also need to make sure they can see clearly and are wearing the appropriate prescription glasses or sunglasses.’

The study of 3,000 drivers also concluded that the average British driver will spend five hours and 44 minutes behind the wheel each week, including an hour and 56 minutes spent sitting in traffic. This adds up to just over one day each month, which equates to the average motorist spending a staggering 6,182 hours - or eight months and two weeks of their life from the age of 17 - waiting for traffic to move.

‘We’re highlighting the importance of concentration when you are behind the wheel, to support Road Safety Week. We are also raising awareness of the need for regular eye examinations for drivers, with up-to-date prescription specs, so that they have one less distraction.’

Rather than waiting patiently, the Specsavers study discovered that bored drivers are often watching what’s going on around them, playing games on their mobile phones and even checking their Facebook profile. Almost one in ten even admits to having had an accident because they became distracted while stuck in a jam.

Mr Carroll continues: ‘This study reveals a large number of people aren’t taking road safety seriously. With winter nights drawing in, it’s vital that drivers take extra care and ensure that their vision is up to scratch before getting behind the wheel.’

Those surveyed suggested that traffic jams are now a regular occurrence, with 19 percent in a jam every day and 22 percent finding themselves in a slow-moving or stationary queue of cars a couple of times every week.

Top ten things that British drivers do while stuck in traffic

1. Listen to music
2. Watch other drivers in their cars
3. Watch people out on the street
4. Send a text message
5. Make a phone call
6. Have something to eat
7. Check Facebook or Twitter profile
8. Send emails
9. Apply my make-up
10. Play games on my mobile phone

- Ends -

¹ Specsavers was voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the ninth year running by the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey 2010
² Survey carried out by Onepoll, 17 November 2010, 3,000 respondents

To book an appointment for an eye examination, please contact Specsavers log onto www.specsavers.co.uk

Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers Opticians
www.specsavers.co.uk

For further press information or details about Road Safety Week, please contact:

Louise Toms or Gareth Anderson
Tel: 020 7053 6000
Email: nationalspecsavers@beattiegroup.com

Specsavers notes to editors:

• Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
• The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
• Specsavers has more than 1,500 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
• Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.36 billion for 2009/10 and is forecast to reach £1.55 billion in 2010/11.
• Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
• Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
• More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers * – 9,700,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2009
• Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK *
• Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world
• Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations
• Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund various projects
• Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries. Specsavers has raised over £370,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £245,000 going towards its work in Zambia.

*GfK NOP

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