New research by comparison website Finder has found that 61% of drivers, or 11 million Australians, have engaged in risky behaviour behind the wheel, potentially voiding their insurance policy in the case of an accident.
The Finder Safe Driver Report 2019 revealed that eating a meal behind the wheel was the most common form of dangerous driving, with 44% of respondents admitting to the risky behaviour, followed by driving in thongs, at 25%, and smoking, at 13%.
Meanwhile, 12% of motorists have taken their eyes off the road to attend to children in the back seat, 5% have micro-slept while their vehicles were moving, 4% had replied to an email while driving, while a further 4% had actually changed their clothes driving.
“If you’re engaging in risky behaviour behind the wheel and you are in an accident, you may not be able to claim the damage on your insurance,” said Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder. “Comprehensive car insurance also won’t cover damage that’s been caused by illegal activities such as texting and driving.”
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) recorded 635 road fatalities in 2019 – 77 more deaths (14%) than the same period last year.