Amorous partners main cause of distraction for car drivers

10 February 2011

Engaging in amorous behaviour is the top distraction when driving with a partner, according to new research by The Co-operative Insurance.

Flirting and getting frisky behind the wheel is the number one driving distraction for nearly a quarter of people (24%).

The survey of UK car drivers who are either married or in a relationship, shows that distractions from a partner have led to a car accident or ‘near-miss’ for more than one fifth (21%) of the population.

According to the research, nearly half of people (44%) get distracted by their partner when driving and a third of people (31%) admit their driving is worse when their partner is in the car with them.

While amorous behaviour tops the poll of ‘partner distractions’ (24%), this is closely followed by having a row (23%), and a partner telling the driver they’ve gone the wrong way (15%).

Top 10 ‘partner distractions’ when driving

Ranking Distraction
1 ‘Amorous’ behaviour with a partner
2 Having a row with a partner
3 Partner tells you you’ve gone the wrong way
4 Partner is talking
5 Partner keeps changing the music
6 Partner makes you laugh
7 Partner talking on the phone
8 Partner tickling you
9 Partner makes you cry
10 Partner starts humming or singing


Grant Mitchell, Head of Motor Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: “The results show the extent to which people’s driving can be affected when their partner is in the car with them, with more than forty per cent of the people we surveyed admitting they don’t concentrate as well.

“At this time of year in particular, when love is in the air, we’re asking drivers to think about the potential consequences of being distracted by a loved one, and to keep their attention where it should be – on the road.”

The research, conducted for Valentine’s Day, also showed that women admit to being more distracted by their partner than men do, with more than a third of those surveyed (37%) agreeing their driving is worse when their partner is in the car, compared to less than a quarter of men (24%).

It also showed that men still want to remain in the driving seat, with more than two thirds (67%) preferring to drive if sharing a car with a partner, compared to just over a third of women (35%).


Notes to editors:

Survey conducted for The Co-operative Insurance by 72 Point on 2,000 respondents whose status is ‘married’ or ‘in a relationship (February 2011).


For further information please contact

Nuala Ryan
The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3808
Email :
Twitter: @CFSpressteam