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Dashboard clutter poses safety risk

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Drivers may be risking safety and steep van insurance premiums by cluttering their dashboards with objects such as toys, newspapers and empty food packets, a study has warned.

Around one-third of van drivers surveyed by Autoglass admitted they had almost had an accident last year because their view of the road was blocked by messy dashboards.

A similar proportion of lorry drivers admitted to having had near-misses around 11-30 times last year.

The study also found one in 10 van drivers and just under a quarter of lorry drivers never remove the litter or tidy up their dashboards.

Fast food packaging was the biggest cause of dashboard clutter for over a third of drivers.

Around a quarter said they had cuddly toys and other accessories sitting atop the dashboard, 21% said they left newspapers there and 19% piled up coffee cups.

Matthew Maycock, Autoglass managing director, said: "While the classic white van man stereotype is now outdated, it is clear from our latest survey that drivers spending long hours on the road mustn't let their litter-hoarding habits put their own or other road users' lives at risk.

"Vehicle owners should regularly clear their dashboards of clutter to ensure they have maximum visibility while on the roads."

© Press Association 2011