Distracted Driving: 4 Times You Were Guilty and Didn’t Know It

December 13, 2017


Road Safety


Kristen Brown

Distracted driving kills people - we know, it's old news. But what many people consider distracted driving - making calls, taking selfies, kids fighting in the backseat - doesn't cover the mistakes Aussies are making daily that put them at risk. 

We've done the research (surveyed 2,507 Aussie drivers aged 18-54 in Dec 2017) and these are the stats. Here is the truth you didn't know about distracted driving. 

The innocent window shop

Men distracted checking out women on the road

While tinted windows and sunnies in a moving vehicle might seem like the trifecta for the undetected pedestrian 'check out', they won't protect you from a road crash. We know from all the distracted driving warnings on the net that it only takes a few seconds looking down at our phone to cause an accident. So think about how much damage a 90 degree, prolonged shoulder 'check out' could cause.

With men 3.7 times more likely than women to gawk and drive, it's about time they kept their eyes on the road. 

Assume because you're an oldie, you're a goodie

When we think of a 'hoon', the vision of a teen driver with bad language and no respect for the law comes to mind. But according to research, our 18-24 year old drivers aren't the most dangerous group on the road.

The winner of the dangerous drivers by age category are the 25-34 year olds with this group 35% more likely to do something illegal, like text and drive. So while more time on the road equals more experience, it doesn't necessarily mean more common sense. 

Fooding, drinking and driving

Eating while driving statistics

We all know the dangers of fast food on our health but Aussies are underestimating the dangers of diggin' in while driving.

Statistics show driving while eating or drinking makes you over 3.6 times more likely to have a car accident, and with over 50% of us saying we consume a coffee in our commute or down a burger on a beach trip, it's clear we aren't considering this as a serious distraction.

Thinking "it's not me, it's you"

You might shake your head at the person pulled up next to you on their phone, or judge your friend for getting caught flicking through a Spotify playlist, but stats show you're probably just as bad.

1/3 Aussies admitted to using a phone to text or use social media while behind the wheel. That means despite the constant tirade of hard hitting distracted driving campaigns we've seen, we're still Snapchatting, Instagramming (#drivingselfie) and Tweeting in the car. And scarily that makes us 20 times more prone to a crash.

The take away? Pretty much anything that takes your focus off the road puts you at risk. So until we get can access the self-driving cars we've all been hoping for, keep your mind, eyes and hands where they need to be.

What do you consider to be distracted driving? Did we miss anything? Comment below. 

Kristen Brown

Kristen is a Social Media and Content Marketing Specialist. She has experience writing on road and work safety and legal rights topics. Currently she leads the content for Smith's Lawyers as editor and content creator for the blog.