As Easter draws near, many of us will be taking to the roads for longer- than-usual car journeys. So as part of our #DriveSafer campaign, we commissioned Millward Brown to do some research into driving behaviours and attitudes in Ireland.
What we’re packing
When setting off on a journey, nobody expects to be in an accident or to breakdown, but there are certain ‘just in case’ items that we should all carry. As the surprising results of our research revealed, only 32% of drivers carry a high visibility jacket in the car, and only 35% of us carry a first aid kit – a figure that drops to 28% among the youth demographic. Yet interestingly, over a quarter (29%) of drivers keep a St Christopher’s medal, holy water or other religious effects in their car!
While sunglasses are carried by 60% of drivers, only 37% of drivers have a torch. Over a quarter (26%) of drivers stated they do not have a spare tyre, yet 64% keep grocery bags in their car: handy for the weekly shop, not so handy when you get a flat!
And, when it comes to legal requirements, it seems we’re not all as compliant as we should be. An overwhelming 83% of those surveyed said they always carry their mobile phones on long journeys, but only 74% (and only 50% of youth) carry their driving licence, despite the legal requirement to do so.
Even with the expected increase in long journeys at Easter, only 28% check for traffic updates ahead of setting out, dropping to 16% among the youth surveyed. Surprisingly, 8% of drivers believe it’s safe to drive in flip flops, with this figure increasing to 12% in the youth demographic. Most alarming is that nearly 1 in 5 (18%) respondents with young families believed flip flops to be fit for driving.
When asked if they would be more cautious when driving behind a Baby-On-Board sticker, over half (55%) of those surveyed stated they would not be any more cautious, a figure that increased to 58% among females. And, despite all the warnings about distracted driving – and the law – 12% of respondents believe it’s ok to text at traffic lights. Among youth this figure increases to 19%.
Speaking about the research, Annette Ni Dhathlaoi, Head of Marketing at Liberty Insurance said; “Our research has revealed some surprising and alarming insights into driver safety behaviour and habits. We would like to remind people to ensure your car is equipped with all the essentials to deal with an emergency breakdown. And, be it day or night, in an urban or rural area, don’t use your mobile phone – even when stopped in traffic. Follow our tips and Drive Safer”.
• Make sure you’re fully prepared in the event of a breakdown, day or night. Ensure that you have a first aid kit; a high visibility vest; a warning triangle; a torch; and a fully charged mobile phone. A high visibility vest is important even if you’re travelling during daylight hours.
• Remember to carry your Driving Licence (Provisional or Full) or Learner Permit at all times when driving
• Never use your mobile phone, even when stopped in traffic
• Wear comfortable footwear that is appropriate for driving
• Check your oil and make sure your tyres (including your spare) are properly inflated according to your manufacturer’s instructions
• Make sure you're well rested before your journey
• Plan your route in advance and avoid the use of map apps while driving
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