More than half of motorists (56%) think that smoking while driving should be banned, according to a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). However, almost half of respondents (45%) think that such a ban would be unenforceable.
The IAM says respondents clearly have concern over the effects of smoking while driving, with 75% of motorists suggesting that lighting a cigarette while driving is a serious distraction.
Around one in two respondents (52%) think the act of lighting a cigarette is the greatest potential danger of smoking and driving. While just 2% believe that there are no dangerous elements to smoking while driving.
Company car and van drivers are not allowed to smoke in their vehicles, but the survey suggests smoking while driving is a road safety issue affecting all road users.
Other survey results reinforce the negative perception of smoking and driving. Respondents felt it was:
• Irresponsible (48%)
• As dangerous as using a mobile phone (46%)
• Dangerous (43%)
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Smoking is clearly seen as a serious issue by motorists and highlights the impact of distractions in the car.
“The health benefits may be clear but more research needs to be done to determine whether there are actual road safety grounds to act on these concerns by banning smoking and driving altogether.”