Distracted drivers are causing havoc on the M25, with 66% having accidents because they are not paying attention, says a report by motor claims management company Claimsplus.

The research study analysed claims made for accidents on the M25 over the first six months of 2001. It found 39% of accidents involved at least two vehicles in the same lane, where one driver failed to stop and impacted with another vehicle.

The second highest proportion of accidents (22%) involved a car hitting another vehicle when changing lanes, which could be avoided if the driver used the car's mirrors properly.

A further 5% of accidents came from drivers hitting objects on the carriageway such as traffic cones.

Claimsplus said a basic refresher course should be introduced for many motorway drivers. Managing director of Claimsplus, Lorraine Wright, said: “With more cars on the motorways every year, it is amazing that so many drivers still make such elementary mistakes.

“By keeping their eyes on the road and keeping track of their fellow motorists, drivers could easily avoid many accidents.”