Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Australian drivers still bloody idiots?

A new study from insurance company AAMI suggests Australian motorists are ignoring years of
government campaigns and television advertising promoting safe driving, with too many drivers still prepared to exceed speed and blood alcohol content limits, and prone to falling asleep at the wheel.

“The findings from the 2006 AAMI Crash Index are disappointing and disturbing because they show Australian drivers are prepared to break the law and ignore safety warnings, which sadly results in lives being ruined by serious injuries and fatalities,” said AAMI Public Affairs Manager, Geoff Hughes. “The research shows most Australian drivers (88%) continue to speed at least some of the time, and more than one-third (36%) speed to get to work or home sooner. This is a slight increase on 2005 (33%) showing driver behaviour is actually worsening,” Mr Hughes said. “As well as the speeding epidemic, four in ten drivers (42%) admit to driving when over the legal drinkdrive limit, with drivers of utility vehicles the most likely to admit to drink driving (over .05), followed by 4WD drivers (59% and 48% respectively). “One in ten drivers (10%) think its OK to drink and drive after a few drinks, so long as they feel capable.
This is the kind of arrogance that kills people, and shows some drivers have little value for their lives, or the lives of other road users,” said Mr Hughes.

The 2006 AAMI Crash Index is based on an in-depth analysis of AAMI claims data and a survey of 2384 Australians conducted by Sweeney Research.

Australians not waking up to fatigue
Three in ten Australian drivers (29%) admit they have momentarily fallen asleep at the wheel.
“Almost one-third of Australian drivers admit they have fallen asleep at the wheel  a potentially fatal situation that can be avoided by stopping to take a powernap, or an extended rest.
“However, one-quarter of drivers (26%) say that if they are tired while driving, they would be unlikely to stop and take a powernap,” said Mr Hughes.

Calls for alarm: ignoring the mobile phone message
Despite research identifying the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone without a hands-free device, and the introduction of tougher penalties for doing so, one in five drivers (18%) still engage in this dangerous practice.
“One in five drivers admit they drive while talking on their mobile without a hands-free kit  this
behaviour is most common among men,” said Mr Hughes.
“Drivers need to understand that while their eyes might be on the road while their on the phone, they don’t have two hands on the wheel, their mind is elsewhere, and they aren’t acting responsibly.
“Drivers should pull over to a safe place if their phone rings or if they need to make a call, or they should turn their phone off while driving so it cannot distract them from focusing on the road,” Mr Hughes said.
* National data includes all States and Territories except Western Australia, as AAMI does not operate there.

Driving others mad or safely around the bend

Which type are you?

Segmentation analysis by Sweeney Research on attitudinal and behaviour driving statements asked of all drivers who participated in the study, reveals four distinct types of driver: reckless and aggressive;careless and easily distracted; safe and patient; and confident but cautious.

Reckless and aggressive (26% of drivers)
· Show little respect for the safety and well-being
of themselves and other road users
· More likely to have an accident or be killed
· Tendency to display aggressive and antisocial
behaviour on the road
· More likely to drink and drive
· Drive above speed limit to save time
· Use mobile phones without hands-free
· Lose concentration while changing CDs, tapes or
radio stations

Careless and easily distracted (23%)
· More introverted
· Careless, rather then reckless
· Age and gender structure is in line with that of the
population at large
· Troubling segment due to the risks they often
unknowingly take
· Lose concentration
· Are easily distracted
· Momentarily fall asleep behind the wheel

Safe and patient (24%)
· Most patient of all drivers on the road
· Skill and caution behind the wheel is reflected in
their lower incidence of crashes, close calls and
other driving incidents
· Set the example for other road users
· Rarely yell or abuse other drivers
· Less likely to speed or lose concentration
· Less likely to drink-drive or use a mobile phone
without a hands-free kit

Confident but cautious (27%)
· Claim to be superior drivers
· Have a relatively low propensity to speed
· Better concentration behind the wheel
· Less likely to drink-drive
· Less likely to use a mobile phone without a
hands-free kit
· Despite their characteristics, the incidence of
crashes for this group is no lower than that of the
driving population as a whole

“Regardless of which ‘type’ Australian drivers might personally identify with, there is no doubt that everyone has come into contact with each of the types identified, whether it be in the peak hour rush to work or home, on a driving holiday, or just on a short journey to the supermarket,” said Mr Hughes.
“While some types demonstrate more risky behaviour than others, the important message is that all drivers have room to improve, and you’re never too young or old too slow down, keep two hands on the wheel and respect fellow road users,” he said.
This is the 12th annual AAMI Crash Index, published to educate the community about crash-related trends.

Key findings from the 2006 AAMI Crash Index:
1. Most Australian drivers (88%) exceed the speed limit at least some of the time
2. More than one-third of Australians (36%) sometimes speed to get to work or home sooner
3. Four in ten drivers (42%) admit to having driven when over the legal drink-drive limit
4. One in ten (10%) say it’s OK to drink and drive after a few drinks, so long as they feel capable
5. One-third of drivers (33%) say that after a night of heavy drinking they have been concerned that they have been over the limit when driving the following day
6. Three in ten Australian drivers (29%) admit they have momentarily fallen asleep at the wheel
7. One-quarter (26%) say that if tired while driving, they are unlikely to stop and have a powernap
8. One-quarter of Australians (26%) identified as being ‘reckless and aggressive’ drivers
9. Most Australian drivers (80%) have experienced a crash as a driver or a passenger
10. One in ten Australians (10%) drive more than 45 minutes to work or further education daily


Anonymous said...

Do you know George Davis? He does the sound for Chaser a couple of days a week.

Sydney Body Art Ride said...

I know one Soundie named George but I don't know his surname, he's a fun bloke.