Motorists do everything but drive

NSW drivers will probably make themselves right at home while at the wheel this Queen’s Birthday long weekend, according to new research from NRMA Insurance.

A survey of 500 NSW drivers revealed that in addition to driving:

37 per cent argue with a passenger;

36 per cent eat fast food;

27 per cent drink a coffee or tea;

24 per cent contact people via phone, SMS or email;

15 per cent eat breakfast.

NRMA Insurance spokesperson Emily Gatt said these results were surprising and somewhat alarming given drivers should only be concentrating on driving and the other cars around them while on the road.

“The research also showed some of us take care of our personal grooming on the road, with six per cent of drivers admitting to shaving, plucking eyebrows, brushing teeth and applying makeup,” Ms Gatt said.

“Surprisingly, male drivers appeared to be vainer than females.

“Other drivers found it hard to be offline, confessing to using Facebook and Twitter while they’re behind the wheel.

“It seems time constraints and technology are enticing drivers to split their attention between the road and other activities and that’s simply not safe.

“NSW roads are busy, especially on long weekends and our research showed that almost 15 per cent of people spent a lot more time in their car now compared to five years ago so it’s important this time is spent focused on the road.

“In-car distractions like eating, drinking, applying makeup and using a mobile phone all encourage drivers to take their eyes off the road and be at higher risk of having a collision.

“We understand that everyone leads busy lives, however busy lifestyles shouldn’t compromise safe driving.

“Losing focus while behind the wheel, even if it’s only for a split second, may cause a driver to have a collision.

“We want to urge all NSW drivers to be alert on the roads and if you need to do something, we suggest you pull over,” Ms Gatt said.

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