Eating while driving is Kiwis worst habit

Eating while driving is Kiwis worst habit

images-2A survey about dangerous driving behaviours has revealed that eating while driving is the number one bad habit admitted by New Zealanders.

Motorists running a red-light and using a handheld cellular phone while driving a vehicle were the second and third most dangerous activities as shown by the survey commissioned by Insurance giant IAG.

IAG trades in New Zealand under AMI, State, NZI, Lumley and Lantern brands.

More than half of surveyed drivers confessed to munching while motoring (55%), and IAG says that although this practice isn’t illegal, it can be distracting and take drivers’ concentration off the road.

Almost as many motorists (42%) admitted they’d driven through a red or amber light in the last six months. The penalty for running a red light is a $150 fine.

Police statistics showed in 2014 that more drivers were caught running a red light compared to the previous five years.

In April this year, police installed red-light cameras at some intersections in Auckland and Wellington where there have been a high number of fatal and serious collisions.

More than a third of drivers (39%) also admitted they had texted or talked on their mobile phone without hands-free while on the road in the half last year – an offence for which a driver will incur 20 demerit points on their license and an $80 fine.

A quarter of people (25%) also admitted to driving a motorcycle or car with bare feet or wearing jandals, which although not against the law, can be hazardous especially if the jandals are wet or have little or no grip as they could slip off the pedals.

AMI partnered with research specialists Nielsen to find out drivers’ most common bad habits when behind the wheel.

Other bad driving behaviour shown up by the survey included changing lanes without indicating (20%), being distracted by a child or pet (16%), not stopping for a pedestrian at a crossing (11%), and having a near miss with a motorbike (6%).

Motorists surveyed who confessed to overtaking a vehicle on double yellow lines (4%), and driving in a bus lane for more than 100 metres (3%).

The results were from an online survey of a representative sample of the national population aged 15 plus, conducted from 29 October to 4 November this year by Nielsen.

The survey had a sample size of 702. The results were weighted by age, gender and region to be representative of the online population.

Within this overall sample, 603 people said they had driven a vehicle in the last six months, and the results reported cover the responses from these drivers.

Their results are representative of the national population of drivers because the overall sample is nationally representative. The predicted maximum margin of error for the driver sample is plus or minus 4%.

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