Mum’s the word if you want to improve driving

New research reveals the influence mothers could have in making British roads safer.

A study for Direct Line DrivePlus has found mums are the passengers who have the biggest impact on motorists' behaviour, with 45% saying their mum's presence has a positive change on the way they drive. And 30% say they drive more slowly when their mum is in the car.

Mums have a greater impact on drivers' speed than fathers – 25% say they slow down when dad is a passenger – or their own children, with 26% reducing their speed when transporting their offspring.

A mother's influence is even greater on younger drivers, with 37% of 18 to 34-year-old drivers slowing down, and 14% of these saying they reduce their speed a lot when their mum is a passenger.

The impact of mums is not limited to speed – nearly one in ten motorists say they are more courteous to other drivers when accompanied by their mum. Interestingly, the other passengers who have the same impact on levels of courtesy are drivers' bosses, with 9% saying they are more courteous in the presence of their boss. Partners have the lowest impact on 'politeness', with only one in twenty five (4%) saying they are more courteous when their partner is a passenger in the car.

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The research found that friends in the car create the biggest distraction as drivers tend to chat to them, with 12% saying this is the case. Dads and bosses are most likely to be chauffeured in silence as only 5% of motorists who have driven these groups cites conversation with them as a cause of distraction.

Children can be distracting to drivers but 11% of motorists believe they concentrate more on the road when their children are in the car and are more likely to leave a greater distance between them and the car in front (9%).

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