Survey Finds Drivers Continue To Illegally txt & Drive


Many drivers are continuing to ignore the mobile phonerestrictions imposed in the November law.

Only 24% percent of drivers say they always use a hands-free kit or cradle when driving, according to an AA Insurance survey of 4,336 people aged 18-65.

36% of those aged 18-34 said that, despite the November law change. they still text or talk on their mobile while driving.

Among other results:

  • Just over half say they often eat while driving
  • 45% say they’ve been distracted by other passengers, such as children in the back seat
  • 45% percent of people say they’ve become distracted from driving while changing the radio station or adjusting music
  • 66% percent say they’ve often seen other people apply makeup while driving, but only 8%  admit they  have applied make-up while driving
  • 30% of Aucklanders -the highest of the main centres usually use a hands-free kit, compared with 22% in Wellington and 20% in Christchurch
  • 8% admit they still often send a text while driving, despite the law change. But, that’s a significant decrease compared with 2009 results when 22% said they did

The insurance company, warning against distractions while driving, cites recent insurance claims:

  • A young woman was driving along a straight road and texting.  She drove into a car parked on the side of the road causing $8,000 worth of damage.
  • A man decided to quickly text while he was waiting in traffic.  He assumed that the traffic had moved along so accelerated slowly only to look up in time to crash into the car in front, which hadn’t actually moved, causing $7,000 worth of damage.
  • A woman was driving along a straight road when she became distracted by her baby in the back seat.  She tried to quickly give her baby a toy, lost control of the car and drove into a ditch.  She then over-corrected and spun up a bank on the opposite side of the road before coming to a rest back on the road.
  • A man was reversing out of a driveway.  Distracted by a child in the car he reversed into a tree.

AA Insurance spokesman Martin Fox, in releasing the results, said  that researchers define driving as a complex task because it requires the driver to focus the brain, body and senses on a single task.

“When a driver is distracted he or she is more likely to experience slower reaction times, compromised hazard detection, impaired judgement about gaps in traffic and is less able to maintain appropriate and predictable speed and lane position.”




  1. Matt L says:

    I do see some people using phones but not as much as I used to. Interestingly most times seem to be people in company cars e.g. the other day while driving over the Newmarket Viaduct I saw a promo girl in a Red Bull car using ther phone while driving.


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