More than nine million drivers admit to being distracted by their children while driving and more than four million – one in five drivers – have either had an accident or near-miss because of their children's behaviour in the car.

Half of parents questioned in a study by Norwich Union admitted turning around to attend to their children in the back seat of the car while they were driving.

One third of parents said their children had taken off their seat belts or unstrapped themselves from their car seat during a journey.

Head of motor development at Norwich Union, Robert Ledger said: “Our research shows children can pose a real risk on long road journeys.”

Norwich Union has issued a number of tips for safe driving with children, including taking a break if children are yelling to avoid being distracted and childlocking the doors.