A new study has revealed that 93 per cent of Australians consider themselves to be safe drivers – the same proportion that admits to engaging in at least one distracting behaviour while driving.
According to Beaurepaires, which commissioned the Newspoll study released this week as one of the busiest times on the nation’s roads approaches, the results highlight the gulf between drivers' perceived and actual safety while driving.
Of 1055 Australian drivers surveyed, the same percentage of motorists claiming they are safe behind the wheel (93 per cent) confessed to using a phone or GPS navigation device; eating or drinking; applying makeup or changing music on an iPod while being in control of a vehicle.
The study also found that:
>> 87 per cent adjust the radio or change music on their iPod while driving
>> Three quarters of drivers admit to eating or drinking when on the road
>> Two in five people confess to using their mobile phone while driving
>> More than half (54 per cent) use their navigation device behind the wheel
>> Nearly one in five (18 per cent) drivers groom themselves or apply makeup
Beaurepaires said the study also revealed that only three in five (58 per cent) drivers check their tyres before a long drive (three hours or more), indicating that around 40 per cent of vehicles on the road may be riding on unsafe tyres.
The tyre company says that with more than 30 per cent of cars failing roadworthy tests due to worn out tyres, motorists should check their tyre pressures against the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications found in the handbook or door pillar, check for uneven tread or any defect or foreign objects, ensure a minimum of 2mm of tread spread uniformly around the tyre and check their spare tyre before heading off this summer.
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