Who's been a dirty boy?

A new survey reveals our bad driving habits

Simon Hacker dishes the dirt

Q Not another survey?

Yes, they keep coming. But this one is amusing and might have a serious message: in truth, we're a nation of roadgoing slobs. Especially, and apologies to all Welsh people, if you're Welsh.

Q Ah, who did the research?

A specialist called BriteAngle. They make a rather nifty emergency triangle and, having researched all the pointless rubbish, clutter and paraphernalia we fail to jettison, have probably worked out we'd have much more free space on board to buy their gadgetry if we listened to their survey's findings. I'm not sure why such action makes you an "offender", but who's to question market research?

Q And what's with the Welsh bashing?

Well, they went over the bridge with a clipboard and discovered that there are Welsh people over there driving around "with alcohol in the boot of their car." Yes, 5% of Welsh people do this. Bootlegging in the Rhondda has taken a modern meaning, you might say.

Q Bit of a slur on the upstanding 95% of Welsh people who don't?

Well, like the rest of us, they're far from innocent. One in three Brits, apparently, are using their cars like "a mobile pantry". The survey declares: "More drivers carry car loads of tinned food, snacks, soft and alcoholic drinks as well as provisions to make a cup of tea on the move, than equipment to keep them safe at the side of the road such as a warning triangle."

Q I see what they did there. Okay, I'll happily triangulate, but what's wrong with mobile pantries?

Drilling down into their research, it seems women, who you might argue (at the risk of being sexist) particularly need to ensure their safety on the road, are the worst offenders for hoarding food and drink (37 per cent against men at 29 per cent). BriteAngle's main point, to give them credit, was to ask drivers: how much of the stuff you have on board would really be useful in an unplanned stop? And, let's also ask, how much of it, sloshing loose in your car, would be a danger in an impact?

Q Yes, but what about Robert Ward?

Ah, Robert Ward, the West Virginia driver who crashed down a 150ft ravine last December and survived for a week on taco sauce sachets from under the back seat? Yes, you have a point: the odd McDonalds leftover might well be of some use, I guess. All the same, with just 17 per cent of us carrying warning triangles, we could perhaps get the darned things and still be dubious in our sachet hoarding habits. In you break down or have a bump, the triangle might well save your skin. And, killer point here, BriteAngle's triangle has flashing, high-intensity LED lights visible from 300 metres away.

Q Woah, bring it on! Can I use it for an in-car disco to help consume all the food and drink?

As they say in Cardiff, that's a tidy idea.