More than 55% of drivers have admitted to being distracted on the road, while 21% say they have driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to an AMI survey.

The insurer’s national survey found that mobile phones were responsible for distracting 30% of drivers in the past year, while 68% considered them the biggest distraction while driving.

Wayne Tippet, AMI executive general manager for claims, said: “These results are an important reminder of driver safety as many of us get ready to hit the road for a long weekend. We hope that by sharing this information, drivers will remember that little distractions can have terrible consequences, so please be safe."

Driver distraction is highest in younger drivers, according to the study, with respondents aged between 18-24 listing mobile phones, passengers, adjusting GPS/audio/climate controls, daydreaming, and eating/drinking as their biggest distractions.

Meanwhile, 25% of those aged over 45 admitted they had driven while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, compared to 17% of those aged between 18 and 44.

Before leaving home, AMI urged New Zealanders to make a plan and set up their navigation systems and temperature controls before driving.

June 2024