Frisky younger drivers – and their passengers – are taking raunchy risks that put using a mobile phone in the shade, according to new research by the UK’s largest specialist insurance broker.
Albert Einstein may have been joking when he allegedly said that “any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves”.
But kissing – and much more besides – behind the wheel is on the rise among the younger generation, with 40 per cent of 18 to 34-year-old passengers admitting to distracting the driver with some saucy hi-jinks.
By comparison, the survey of more than 1,000 people by Adrian Flux Insurance Services showed that only 20 per cent of those aged 45 and over had engaged in similar behaviour – despite many more years on the road.
Gerry Bucke, general manager at Flux, said that using a mobile phone at the wheel had become socially unacceptable because of the growing evidence it distracts drivers and contributes to accidents.
“Young people have always used their cars as makeshift bedrooms to escape the attentions of their parents, but now it seems they are taking things one step further,” he added.
“We know that using a mobile phone distracts drivers and causes accidents, but we don’t know how many accidents are caused by people canoodling at the wheel because it’s very hard to prove and the data simply doesn’t exist.
“But it seems likely that this sort of behaviour is just as distracting – if not more so – than using a mobile phone, which currently attracts three penalty points, a £100 fine and increased insurance premiums.
“Cars have long been the retreat of choice for lovestruck youngsters, but maybe they should wait until they’re parked up before grabbing a kiss and a cuddle.”
The survey, conducted by TLF Research, showed that the older generation were certainly no exception to the more traditional form of motor-based love, with with 70 per cent of those over 55 admitting to having sex in a stationary car, compared with 63 per cent of those aged 18 to 54.
“The older generation are certainly not prudish judging by this research, it’s just that they didn’t believe in taking unnecessary risks and kept their ardour under wraps while the car was moving!” added Mr Bucke.