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Poor attention 'causes accidents'

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The average attention span of most Britons is now just five minutes and seven seconds, according to a study.

Pressures of modern life have been blamed for the lack of concentration and a "surge" in domestic accidents making it more vital to get car insurance and home insurance up to date.

A survey of 1,000 adults by Lloyds TSB shows that ten years ago the average attention span was more than 12 minutes.

The report said that most accidents at home, such as burnt-out pans, overflowing baths or lost door keys, were because people lose concentration quickly.

Figures show that the most likely time to have an accident is 7.55am coinciding with getting ready for work or taking children to school.

The over-50s outperformed younger people in a test to judge awareness and ability to recall everyday events. Younger people were also more likely to blame stress or too much work for short-term memory loss.

David Moxon, a social psychologist who led the study, said: "More than ever, research is highlighting a trend in reduced attention and concentration spans, and as our experiment suggests, the younger generation appear to be the worst afflicted. Lack of attention has a serious impact on task performance and increases the risk of accidents."

© Press Association 2008