Media Release

70% of Australians reckless behind the wheel

  • New finder.com.au Safe Driving Report reveals seven in ten drivers engage in risky behaviour.
  • Over one third (34%) of motorists admit to using their phones behind the wheel.
  • finder.com.au urges drivers to consider the financial burden of a crash.

13 July 2017, Sydney, Australia – A new report from finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything, has revealed the risky behaviours Australian drivers are partaking in behind the wheel.

The finder.com.au Safe Driving Report surveyed over 1,800 Australian drivers and found that one in seven (70%) partake in potentially dangerous activities on the road.

The three most common risky habits included eating takeaway whilst driving (47%), texting (28%) and answering a phone call without use of speakerphone (27%).

The report also cited smoking (20%) and reaching into the back seat to deal with a child (19%) among the top five distractions.

Graham Cooke, Insights Manager at finder.com.au, warns Australians to consider the bigger picture when on the road.

“It’s concerning to see such a high number of Aussies texting and calling behind the wheel,” he said, “especially as 34% of all drivers admitted to some sort of phone usage.”

“With the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport blaming phone use for last year’s increase in road fatalities, it’s important for drivers to take the dangers into consideration.”

The report also found that 14% of drivers have steered a vehicle with their knees, 9% have microslept, and 3% have read a book or the newspaper behind the wheel.

Those who input “other” activities (1%), cited risky driving behaviour such as electric shaving, killing spiders, and challenging themselves to drive as long as possible with their eyes closed.

Mr Cooke urged Australian drivers to consider 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 up to a $511 fine in some states as well as demerit point loss– and this is before a crash has even occurred.

“Moreover, many comprehensive car insurance policies won’t provide cover for an accident caused by illegal activity behind the wheel, so it’s important to consider the ramifications when driving.”

The top dangerous things Australian drivers have done behind the wheel

#ActivityPercentage of Australians
1Eaten takeaway47%
2Sent a text message28%
3Answered a phone call without speakerphone27%
4Smoked20%
5Reached back to deal with a child (buckle, feed them etc.)19%
6Driven with knees14%
7Microslept9%
8Applied makeup8%
9Changed clothes7%
10Read the newspaper / a book3%

By state:

    • Western Australians are the most risky drivers with 75% reporting that they’ve participated in the listed dangerous activities, compared to South Australians who are the safest (67%).
    • Western Australians (30%) are the most likely to pick up the phone on the road, followed by Victorians (29%) and New South Wales drivers (29%).
    • Those from New South Wales admit to microsleeping the most (13%), followed by Queensland drivers (10%). Western Australians microsleep the least (3%).

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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.

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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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