A survey has revealed that 84% Irish drivers admit to using electronic devices or consulting maps while driving compared to 66% of drivers in the UK.
The study, commissioned by Aviva and carried out by Ipsos MORI, also found that 26% of Irish drivers admit to sending text messages while at the wheel.
The study, which looked at driving habits across 13 countries, revealed that Irish drivers are either among the most reckless in the world or the most honest when taking part in surveys!
It reveals that almost half (45%) of Irish drivers admit to making phone calls behind the wheel without a hands-free kit, while in the UK the equivalent number was 20%.
The numbers who report checking social media while driving in Ireland is also more than double that of the UK (15% v 7%).
Only Italian drivers are worse than Irish drivers among our European counterparts at 17%.
The research also found that 40% of Irish drivers admit driving while excessively tired compared to 31% in the UK.
Irish drivers also had the highest percentage (60%) admit to eating or drinking while driving.
Meanwhile being distracted by passengers is a common experience among Irish drivers.
43% reported it as a difficulty, the highest proportion of any European country in the survey.
The numbers admitting to putting on make-up while driving are small across all countries included in the survey.
However, Ireland emerges as the highest in Europe with 7% confessing to doing their make up behind the wheel.
Speaking about the results, Michael Bannon, Underwriting Manager with Aviva Motor Insurance, said:
“It is shocking to find that so many drivers are taking such risks, given all that we know about road safety.”
“Just a split second of distraction or lapse in concentration can result in death on the road.”
“Technology has revolutionised our lives for the better in very many respects but when it comes to road safety its ability to distract can prove lethal.”
“Driving is among the most hazardous activities we undertake in our lives. For all our sakes, we need to remember that stark reality at the start of every journey.”
The survey interviewed 1,000 adults using online panels in Ireland, the UK, France, Poland, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Canada and the US.
In China, 1,500 interviews were carried out and in India the survey was conducted face-to-face and online.
14,545 interviews were carried out in total between 17 March and 1 May.