It so easy to drive on auto pilot but it could prove costly as motoring editor Andy Russell explains.
It’s strange how sometimes you can pass something day after day and never notice it.
For years I did a 25-mile round trip to work on a long, straight, boring road which had only a couple of junctions and, with little scope for overtaking, you often ended up following the same car mile after mile.
But, while you should do your utmost to stay alert at the wheel, it got to the stage where if, after arriving at work, someone asked me what car I had followed along that road I was lucky if I could remember anything more than the colour of it, let alone the make or model!
That was the point at which I started to seek alternative routes to work, even if they were further and took longer, just to add some variety. Hence the reason that so many people say that the chances are, if you have an accident, it will be on a road you know well because it is so easy to switch to auto pilot.
But it can also be costly.
A couple of friends of mine have been caught out in clampdowns at what has become something of a notorious morning rush-hour shortcut. I heard that 180 motorists were caught one morning alone.
Between 7.30am and 9.30am, Monday to Friday, a short section of the road becomes only a bus lane but hundreds of motorists have been caught flouting the law and, yes, many of them were fully aware what they were doing was wrong.
There’s no excuse for it, the no entry sign displayed between these hours is perfectly clear and there are other bus lane warning signs leading up to that short stretch of road but they don’t alway register.
One friend was caught having travelled that piece of road dozens of times – just never on a weekday between 7.30am and 9.30am while another usually walks to work so thought nothing about driving along it at the same time of the day.
Whether deliberate or accidental, the result is the same – a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.
You’ll certainly notice that.