SA drivers dining à la car

07 June 2010

SA drivers will probably be making themselves right at home while at the wheel this Queen’s Birthday long weekend, according to new research from SGIC*.

A survey of 500 SA drivers revealed as well as driving:

  • 40 per cent eat fast food; 
  • 37 per cent argue with a passenger; 
  • 23 per cent contact people via phone, SMS or email; 
  • 22 per cent drink a coffee or tea; 
  • 16 per cent eat breakfast.

SGIC spokesperson Emily Gatt said these results were surprising and somewhat alarming given drivers should only be concentrating on their driving and the other cars around them while on the road.

“The research also showed some of us take care of our personal grooming on the road, with five per cent of drivers admitting to shaving, plucking eyebrows, brushing teeth and applying makeup. Surprisingly, male drivers appear to be vainer than females.

"Other drivers found it hard to be offline, confessing to using Facebook and Twitter while they’re behind the wheel. It seems time constraints and technology are enticing drivers to split their attention between the road and other activities and that's simply not safe.

“SA roads are busy especially on long weekends and our research showed that almost 14 per cent of people spend a lot more time in their car now compared to five years ago so it’s important this time is spent focussed on the road.

“In-car distractions like eating, drinking, applying makeup and using a mobile phone all encourage drivers to take their eyes off the road and be at higher risk of having a collision.

“We understand that everyone leads busy lives, however busy lifestyles shouldn’t compromise safe driving. Losing focus while behind the wheel, even if it’s only for a split second, may cause a driver to have a collision.

“We want to urge all SA drivers to be alert on the roads and if you need to do something, we suggest you pull over,” Ms Gatt said.

* Based on Pure Profile Research, February 2010