When we think about dangerous driving, we usually imagine someone drink driving or speeding. However, Roads and Maritime NSW has reported that distractions are the cause of around 14% of road accidents, and one-third of these distractions take place within the vehicle. Activities that people don’t usually classify as dangerous are actually some of the most common and most risky.
The top 10 most dangerous activities that Australian drivers are engaging in:
- Eating takeaway food (47%)
- Sending text messages (28%)
- Answering calls directly to their ear (27%)
- Smoking (20%)
- Reaching back to deal with a child (19%)
- Driving with their knees (14%)
- Having a microsleep (9%)
- Applying makeup (8%)
- Changing clothes (7%)
- Reading the newspaper or a book (3%)
The rise of dashcams means that Aussies can no longer hide these bad habits. Research from finder.com.au, which surveyed 1,800 people, found that a massive 70% of Australian drivers admitted to engaging in some kind of dangerous behaviour behind the wheel. While some of these dangerous habits may seem relatively minor, internal distractions are one of the biggest causes of accidents on our roads.
Although eating while driving doesn’t seem that risky, it can lead to an accident, which is why it’s concerning that almost half of us do it. What’s more confronting is that 1 in 10 of us have had a microsleep at the wheel. Worryingly, parents with young children (under the age of 10) were found to be four times more likely to text and drive than parents with adult children.
Other participants willingly admitted to their own dangerous activities on the road. Some people shave or kill spiders while driving. Others challenge themselves to drive for as long as possible with their eyes closed.
This report revealed the many shocking driving habits of Aussies. And they’re even less amusing when someone is hurt as a result. Most comprehensive car insurance policies will not provide cover for an accident or damage that has occurred due to negligent or reckless driving. You also won’t be protected for illegal behaviour such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or using your phone behind the wheel. And even if you’re not a dangerous driver, insurance is important for protecting you against other road users who do engage in risky behaviour.
These results remind us of the need for more safety on our roads. Even common activities that we think are safe to do, can lead to accidents.
Richard Laycock. Insurance expert at finder.com.au