DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION: Eating behind the wheel can be a recipe for disaster.
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION: Eating behind the wheel can be a recipe for disaster. Rob Williams

REVEALED: The top driver distractions to avoid this Easter

UNRESTRAINED pets, misbehaving children and food are among the biggest distractions for drivers, new research reveals ahead of a busy long weekend on our roads.

Suncorp's national survey found almost half of the state's motorists had experienced a near miss and 14 per cent had caused an accident because they were distracted behind the wheel.

Of more than 1000 Queensland drivers surveyed, 59 per cent of parents had to discipline children while driving and a quarter had misbehaving pets in the car.

A quarter of people admitted they had sent a text while driving while almost two thirds had taken their eyes off the road to look for street names or house numbers.

Snacking during the journey is also taking attention off the road, with 59 per cent saying they have opened food while in the driver's seat.

Suncorp spokeswoman Ashleigh Paterson said the findings were concerning, especially with many residents planning Easter road trips.

"Drivers should be mindful of the added risks that come from driving in unfamiliar areas, being on the road for extended periods of time, or having your car full of noisy family members - including furry ones," Ms Paterson said.

 

RISKY BUSINESS: A quarter of Queensland people surveyed had sent a text while driving.
RISKY BUSINESS: A quarter of Queensland people surveyed had sent a text while driving. Marc Stapelberg

She encouraged people to take a break every two hours, get a good night's sleep ahead of a long journey and share driving duties where possible.

"It's also a good idea to minimise distractions by keeping your phone out of reach and nominating another family member to navigate."

STAYING SAFE

  • Make use of the driver reviver sites and change drivers at each rest stop.
  • Do not drive at times when you would normally be asleep or tired.
  • Take a break from driving at least every two hours to help fight fatigue.
  • If you are a passenger, encourage your driver to take a break.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and avoid distraction.

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