The alarming risks Aussies are taking on our roads
Grabbing a bite to eat and checking a text message are among the riskiest things Aussies have done behind the wheel, finder.com.au’s Safe Driving Report 2018 has revealed.
The study of nearly 2000 Australian drivers found that 62 per cent of motorists admitted to engaging in potentially dangerous activities while operating a car, with the most common being eating takeaway food.
Although it isn’t illegal to eat and drive, police can still fine you if they deem you don’t have full control of your car while eating.
A 2015 study by the Griffith Health Institute in Queensland found that eating behind the wheel is almost as distracting as texting.
The study also found 31 per cent of drivers admitted to wearing thongs while driving, which runs the risk of getting the footwear caught under the foot pedals.
Texting was the third most common dangerous activity, with one in five people admitting to it.
This was followed by 14 per cent admitting to smoking behind the wheel.
Other risky behaviour included reaching back to deal with children and holding the phone up to your ear when answering a call.
“It’s concerning that so many Australians admit to risking their lives and those of others by engaging in these dangerous behaviours on the road,” finder.com.au’s Bessie Hassan said.
“While eating takeaway or reaching into the back seat may seem harmless, the reality is that all distractions can be dangerous.”
Other alarmingly risky but less common behaviour found in the survey included 9 per cent of respondents driving with their knees, 6 per cent having microslept and 5 per cent having put on make up.
While the statistics are concerning the number of drivers texting dropped 14 per cent from last year.
“It’s promising that the number of people admitting to texting and calling while driving has decreased since last year’s report, which indicates that Australians are listening to the statistics on how deadly this can be,” Ms Hassan said.