Speeding, eating in the car, texting at the wheel… we can all spot other people’s bad driving behaviour a mile away. But what about turning the mirror on ourselves?
Our research* found that while people were quick to point out bad behaviour by others, most failed to recognise their own in-car activities as dangerous. Only 3% of Irish drivers admitted to being unsafe drivers, yet an astonishing 46% of drivers admitted to acts that are unsafe.
46% of drivers admitted to acts that are unsafe.
Here are some examples of common distractions – are you guilty of any?
- Changing the radio channel (a lower-level distraction, but the highest offender at 36%)
- Eating while driving (9%)
- Talking on the phone (9%)
- Texting while driving (4%)
Looking around at commute time, these numbers seem low. Are Irish drivers underestimating? Or have these behaviours become ‘the norm’ in people’s eyes? All are certainly distractions and according to recent RSA research, driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions.
Driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions.
In our research, 13% of drivers stated they engaged specifically in digital distractions behind the wheel. Last week marked the launch of a nationwide campaign by An Garda Siochána, which aims to counter people using mobile phones behind the wheel. From May 1st 2014, it will be an offence to read or send a text while driving.
With that in mind, we’re calling on Irish drivers to look at their own behaviour and make a change. Take action and avoid distractions. Share your #drivesafer tips via Twitter and the Liberty Insurance Facebook page. In the car with family and friends, don’t accept unsafe behaviour.
- Power off your phone before your journey to avoid distractions of incoming texts. If you need to check it, pull over to a safe place
- Plan your journey in advance to avoid the use of map apps while driving
- Pull over to a safe place to place or take calls
- Prepare a playlist/CD in advance of your journey to counteract station surfing on the radio
- Preset your favourite stations to avoid unnecessary station surfing
Pull over to a safe place to place or take calls
- Eat before your journey or pull over to a safe place before snacking
- Check your email before your journey so that you can ensure your mind will be focused on the road
- Do not engage in any social media while driving. It can wait.
They’re basic guidelines, but they could save your life. What will you pledge to help you #drivesafer?
See below for an infographic we have created to show the top 10 bad habits while driving.
Top 10 Bad Habits While Driving Infographic by Liberty Insurance April 2014
Research conducted by Millward Brown
Base: All car and/or Home Insurers (n=1,000)
For more on car safety, check out these safe driving tips for more.