Media Release

11 million Aussies driving distracted: Finder Safe Driving Report 2019

        • 61% of drivers have engaged in risky behaviour behind the wheel
        • Texting, eating and smoking top the list of dangerous conduct
        • Drivers encouraged to steer clear of activities that can void their car insurance cover

14 August, 2019, Sydney, Australia – Motorists have admitted to taking their eyes off the road to apply makeup, use their phones and read a book according to new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

The Finder Safe Driving Report 2019 shows the majority of drivers (61%) have potentially put themselves and others in danger by being distracted at the wheel.

That's equivalent to 11 million Australians engaging in risky behaviour on the road.

The most common dangerous driving habit is eating a meal behind the wheel (44%) followed by driving in thongs (25%).

One in ten (10%) has taken a phone call in the driver's seat, and 11% have tapped out a text message.

Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder, said this risky behaviour is an accident waiting to happen.

"Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can mean the difference between life and death, so it's staggering to think how many Aussies are being so reckless.

"Whether you're looking away to text, take a bite of food or put on makeup, every moment you aren't focused on the road can be catastrophic," Blackburn said.

One in eight drivers (12%) has taken their eyes off the road to attend to children in the back seat, and 5% admit to micro-sleeping while their vehicles are moving.

Meanwhile, 4% of Aussies admit to replying to an email while driving and 4% have actually changed their clothes.

According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), there have been 635 road fatalities in 2019 – 77 more deaths (14%) than the same period last year.

Blackburn said drivers face having insurance claims rejected if they are deemed to have been driving recklessly.

"If you're 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," he said.

"Comprehensive car insurance also won't cover damage that's been caused by illegal activities such as texting and driving."

 
 
Which of the following have you done while in the act of driving?

ActivityPercentage of Aussie drivers
1Eaten food44%
2Driven in thongs25%
3Smoked13%
4Reached back to deal with children12%
5Texted (without using voice control)11%
6Answered a call directly to my ear (not using a hands-free device)10%
7Driven with my knees7%
8Used social media5%
9Micro-slept5%
10Applied makeup5%
11Replied to an email4%
12Changed clothes4%
13Watched a movie/TV show2%
14Read a newspaper/book2%
15Shaved1%

Source: Finder Safe Driving Report, August 2019

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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

Every month 2.2 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to 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, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

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

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