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15% of drivers suffer memory blanks behind the wheel, finds AA

The poll of over 27,000 drivers by the AA also finds that motoring memory blanks are more often experienced by younger rather than older drivers, with 21% of 18-24 year-olds and 24% of 25-34 year-old admitting to not being able to recall parts of their journey.

Female drivers (17%) are more likely to admit to motoring memory blanks than males (13%) and 31% of men are adamant they never forget.

The AA said that reasons for drivers going into autopilot could include phone or passenger conversations, listening to music or the radio or possibly just day dreaming.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Until the advent of driverless cars we would prefer drivers to be more alert behind the wheel. Motoring memory blanks may be an indication that the driver is not concentrating on the road ahead. It is good practice as a driver to question yourself as to whether you could safely stop if a child walked out from behind that parked car. Many drivers also go into autopilot when they are close to home after a long journey and that is a good time to remind yourself to concentrate harder to get home safely.”

According to government figures, failure to look properly is the most common factor identified by police officers for accidents and accounted for 44% of all accidents in 2014.

Edmund King added: “Whilst the Thought Police can’t and shouldn’t stop drivers from thinking, the number one priority whilst behind the wheel should be concentration on the road ahead.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.