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Easter road trips could drive Australians to distraction

26 March 2017

Misbehaving children, unrestrained pets, and taking your eyes off the road to search for street signs are some of the biggest distractions on the road, according to Suncorp research.

The national survey revealed almost half of Australians have had a near miss because they were distracted while driving, which Suncorp spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson said is concerning especially with a long weekend ahead.

"The Easter long weekend is an ideal time for many to travel locally or across state with their family, but it's also the time when we see additional hazards on our roads," Ms Paterson said.

"Drivers should be mindful of the added risks that come from driving in unfamiliar areas, being on the road for extended periods of time, or having your car full of noisy family members – including furry ones."

Ms Paterson encouraged residents to take a break every two hours, get a good night's sleep ahead of a long journey and share driving duties where possible.

"It's also a good idea to minimise distractions by keeping your phone out of reach and nominating another family member to navigate," Ms Paterson said.

Suncorp surveyed more than 15,000 Australians to understand the biggest distractions when driving. Key findings include:

  • 59% of parents have had to discipline misbehaving kids while driving
  • A quarter of people have had misbehaving pets in the car
  • 60% of people have taken their eyes off the road for longer than is comfortable to look for street names or house numbers
  • 59% of people have opened food while driving
  • A quarter of people have sent a text while driving
  • 16% of people have caused an accident because they were distracted while driving and almost half have had a near miss.

Tips for staying safe on the road this long weekend:

  • If you're taking a road trip this Easter break, make use of the driver reviver sites and change drivers at each rest stop.
  • Don't drive at times when you would normally be asleep or tired.
  • Take a break from driving at least every two hours to help fight driver fatigue.
  • If you're a passenger, encourage your driver to take a break.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and avoid distraction.

Suncorp research surveyed more than 15,000 Australians from around the country. The research was conducted in May 2017 by Lonergan Research.

 

Media Inquiries: Laura Maidment 0477 398 360

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