Aussie Motorists Driven to Distraction

12/04/13

  • An unfamiliar route the biggest distraction to Australian drivers
  • GPS is most popular form of navigation assistance, followed by street directories
  • Female drivers more inclined to conduct research before driving

A study commissioned by Continental Tyres into the habits of Australian motorists has found our busy schedules and the constant need to multi-task is driving us to distraction on the roads.

Of those surveyed, almost 60 per cent identified driving on an unfamiliar route as the number one reason their focus lapsed as they paid more attention to finding their destination, rather than the traffic conditions and surrounds.

"There is no doubt that our roads are busier than ever - the Australian car park has grown to over 16.7 million motor vehicles registered this year and with more and more people spending their days 'on the road' as part of their jobs, it is practically peak hour all day long," General Manager, Continental Tyres of Australia, Steve Brown said.

Everyday tasks we are all faced with, such as attending meetings, taking the kids to appointments and constant running around has many people travelling on unfamiliar roads on a daily basis, which, in some instances, can be quite nerve-racking."

n addition, just fewer than 50 per cent blamed the unpredictable actions of other drivers as a major reason they became distracted, while other reasons singled out included weather conditions, children and passengers in the car, pedestrians, the radio, mobile phones, having the mind on other tasks, cyclists, driver fatigue and ever-changing speed zones.

To reduce the pressure and distraction of driving on unfamiliar routes, the majority of Australian drivers turn to navigation assistance in varying forms, with 41.8 per cent utilising the assistance of GPS devices (excluding smart phones).

The GPS proved more popular with males, with 56.9 per cent (versus 43.1 per cent of females) happy to consult the electronic device for advice on how to best get to their destination.

Not surprisingly, the fairer sex spent more time preparing and researching in advance when knowingly about to travel on an unfamiliar route, with over 60 per cent of female drivers consulting the internet and websites for advice compared to only 38 per cent of males.

"Consulting any form of navigation assistance prior to setting off is always a good idea, as it allows drivers to gain an understanding of the types of road and traffic conditions they might encounter on their journey," Steve Brown continued.

"It is imperative to be as prepared as possible, not just in taking the time to look before you leap, but also making sure your vehicle and tyres are in a trusted state, ensuring the safety of your family and others on the road."