Aussie drivers admit on-road distractions

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Local survey suggests drivers need to pay more attention behind the wheel, with men and women admitting to different issues on the road.

Young drivers have admitted to taking more risks behind the wheel in an Australian survey of driver distraction.

A survey of more than 1000 Aussie drivers published by Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers found drivers aged between 18 and 34 are two and a half times more likely to use their phone in an inappropriate way.

The survey also showed Victorian drivers are twice as likely to use their mobile phone when driving compared with NSW drivers, suggesting the widespread use of mobile phone cameras in Sydney and beyond could be influencing driver behaviour.

Car makers and safety regulators are also working to reduce driver distraction with on-board cameras that watch a driver’s eyes and sound alarms if they glance away from the road for more than a moment.

Almost 40 per cent of responders said they eat or drink hot food while at the wheel, and one out of five drivers admit to zoning out and wondering how they got somewhere while driving.

Overall, women said they were less likely to be distracted by kids or pets, but more likely to use their phone in an illegal manner. But men in Queensland said they were twice as likely to use their mobile phone when driving compared with women.

Chris McManus, Principal of Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers said there was more to distracted driving than “using your phone”.

“The reality is there are lots of common distractions such as eating messy food or turning around to calm a screaming child which can dramatically increase the chance of an accident,” he said.

“It’s not practical to eliminate all distractions but by avoiding them where we can and giving each other some more space on the road, it should be possible to reduce the chances of an accident when short distractions occur.”

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