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As the UK gets set to feel the heat, a new study published today reveals that in spite of 42% of Brits claiming that hot weather makes them feel happy, the sunshine has an adverse effect on motorists’ road skills. New research by Kia Motors shows that over a third (36%) have had an accident during the summer, whilst nearly one in ten (9%) speed more when temperatures soar.

14% of motorists admit to driving worse when the sun is shining, with the most common reason being that they get hot and flustered (61%). It’s not only the mercury that rises in the summer but tempers too, as over a quarter (28%) find themselves getting angry behind the wheel quicker, closely followed by 24% being affected by too many cars being on the road.

Driver Distractions

According to the report, nearly half (45%) of UK road users are distracted during the summer months by other motorists driving badly. Other factors that can preoccupy motorists minds include 27% find talking to passengers a diversion, and a further one in five (20%) are distracted by singing along to music.

It seems that it’s not just the thrill of the road that gets pulses racing as 24% confess to being distracted whilst looking at an attractive person walking down the street. Men are the biggest culprits with one quarter (25%) admitting to letting their eyes wander, whilst just 12% of women find their attention diverted during the summer months.

The report findings show that the average UK driver is distracted 1.84 times each day, resulting in 85% of the nation having experienced one or more road accidents in their lifetime. Getting drivers even more hot and bothered behind the wheel is the cost of an impact, with drivers having to foot an average bill of £635 to repair a car following damage. A further one fifth (22%) of drivers have splashed out upwards of £1,000 on repairs.

Start As You Mean To Go On

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as Brits have identified the start of the week as when they pay the most due care and attention when driving. Monday’s are when motorists are at their most alert (12%), with 16% citing 10am as the optimum travel time, but steer clear of Thursday’s when drivers are at their most relaxed behind the wheel. Evenings are also to be avoided with just 1% of drivers believing that they drive well beyond 9pm.

Steve Kitson, Communications Director at Kia Motors UK said: “Whilst the summer sun is guaranteed to lift the mood of the nation it is clear that Brits can’t take the heat. Although hot weather in the UK is often rare, it has the effect of getting drivers flustered as there are more distractions on the road. Kia urges all drivers to show care and diligence at all times no matter what the weather or in fact whatever the day of the week.”


For more information, contact the Kia Motors press office – 020 7632 2400 / 01442 261 199 or


• Kia Motors carried out research among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK motorists during w/c 11 July 2011

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