Media Release

10.9 million Australians admit to risky behaviours on the roads

  • 62% of Australian drivers admit to dangerous activities while behind the wheel
  • Eating takeaway food tops the list of risky behaviours
  • Drivers encouraged to ditch activities that can void their car insurance cover

6 August 2018, Sydney, Australia – The majority of Australian drivers engage in risky activities on the roads, according to the new research from finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.

The finder.com.au Safe Driving Report 2018 surveyed over over 1,800 Australian drivers to find that 62% – the equivalent of 10.9 million people – engage in risky behaviours on the road.

Interestingly, eating take away food behind the wheel was named the most common dangerous driving habit, with 38% of drivers admitting to this.

Driving in thongs (31%) and sending a text message (20%) came in as the second and third most common risky behaviours respectively.

The research also found that smoking (14%), reaching back to deal with children (13%) and answering a phone call directly to their ear (13%) were also in the top 10 findings.

A concerning one in 10 drivers (9%) admit to steering with their knees, and 1% of drivers submitted their own risky behaviours, including having sex, using Google Maps, and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Bessie Hassan, Car Insurance Expert at finder.com.au, warns drivers to think about the consequences of being distracted.

“I’m sure everyone is guilty of doing at least one of these before, but drivers shouldn’t be sacrificing their safety for the sake of convenience.

“While eating or smoking while driving may not sound particularly problematic, but the reality is that anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road can be dangerous.

“Most concerning is the high use of phones behind the wheel, however the good news is that this has decreased year-on-year. Overall, phone use is down to 25% from 34% in last year’s research.”

The research found that NSW and SA both have the safest drivers in Australia, with two in five (39%) of drivers from each state saying they’d never done anything risky behind the wheel.

On the flipside, Victoria and Western Australia are the most risky states, with 64% saying they’d engaged in the activities listed.

Generation Y are also the most risky drivers in general, with almost four in five (78%) drivers admitting to reckless behaviours.

On the other hand, Baby Boomers are the safest drivers by far with 59% of drivers never doing anything risky.

Ms Hassan encourages drivers to think about the financial ramifications of even a minor car crash.

“Not only is it extremely risky, but texting or calling behind the wheel could result in a hefty fine as well as demerit point loss– and this is before a crash has even occurred.

“If you’re deemed to have been driving recklessly or engaging in risky behaviour behind the wheel and you are in an accident, you may not be able to claim the damage on your insurance.

“Moreover, comprehensive car insurance won’t cover damage that’s been caused by illegal activities such as texting and driving, so consider these ramifications.”

The top dangerous things Australian drivers have done behind the wheel:

#ActivityPercentage of Australian drivers
1Eaten takeaway38%
2Driven in thongs31%
3Sent a text message20%
4Smoked14%
5 Reached back to deal with children14%
6Answered a call directly to my ear13%
7Driven with my knees9%
8Used social media8%
9Microslept6%
10Changed clothes5%
11Applied makeup5%
12Watched a movie2%
13Read the newspaper / a book2%

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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