Recent data released by AA Insurance has revealed that road rage and driver distractions are on the rise across New Zealand.
The latest survey by the insurer shows that 46 per cent of respondents feel that drivers have become angrier on our roads since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was also found that 28 per cent of Kiwis have been a victim of road rage within the past year, mainly affecting drivers aged between 18 and 29.
“We’re heading into the first summer in years without Covid-19 travel restrictions, and holiday spots are welcoming back international tourists, so we’re expecting to see plenty of traffic on the roads,” says Beau Paparoa, Head of Motor Claims at AA Insurance.
“We know it can be stressful sharing the roads at a chaotic time of year when your resilience may be low and you just want to get to your destination, but we all know that getting angry and impulsive while behind the wheel is never worth it – it’s a recipe for disaster.”
Paparoa made its clear that keeping a cool head in traffic and queues was key to a safe journey. Drivers should also take plenty of breaks if they feel pressured by other motorists too.
Approximately 41 per cent of drivers ranked other road users like cyclists, e-scooter users, and pedestrians as the biggest distraction while driving.
Texting and mobile phone use came in second with 26 per cent of respondents ranking this as their main distraction behind the wheel.
“With busier roads there is a greater risk of distraction and ultimately vehicle accidents, so we’re calling on all drivers to be extra mindful of each other and allow plenty of time to arrive safely at their destination,” added Paparoa.
Distracted drivers were identified as the biggest threat to other driver’s safety on the roads in New Zealand, with 69 per cent of respondents stating that phone and in-car entertainment users posed the biggest risk to them and their passengers.