Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Young Australian men are risking life and limb by ‘making out’ behind the wheel, according to a new study.

Research commissioned by AAMI, Australia’s leading national car insurer, lifts the lid on the main distractions of Australian drivers under the age of 25.

“AAMI’s research revealed that 12% of males under 25 admit to making out while behind the wheel,” AAMI Corporate Affairs Manager, Reuben Aitchison, said.

“Driving a car safely requires your total concentration and making out puts you and others in your car and on the roads around you at serious risk.”

According to the research, young men are twice as likely to have made out while driving than young women and more than three times as likely as all drivers surveyed.

Young drivers in New South Wales are most likely to be making out while driving (9%), with 7% of Victorian drivers under 25 fessing up.

Young Australian drivers and drivers who only hold a Provisional or Probationary licence admit to being distracted by:

----------------------------------------18 - 24 yrs P-Plater
Making out while driving------------------- 8% 9%
Changing the CD/radio station/music on the iPod 47% 45%
Using the Sat Nav------------------- 38% 45%
Speaking on the mobile phone ------- 29% 26%
Text messages/MMS------------------- 44% 37%
Using the Internet on an iPhone/Smartphone------18% 13%

“The results of such distractions can be both frightening and final,” said Mr Aitchison. “Analysis of acute trauma hospital admissions at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne shows that in 2009, young men were three times as likely as young women to be admitted for acute care for road traffic related trauma and injuries.”

For Professor Russell Gruen, Director of the National Trauma Research Institute at the Alfred, the facts speak for themselves. “Around 1,500 people die and 4,000 are seriously injured on Australian roads every year. And the injured drivers are most commonly male and under the age of 24.

“Every injured young driver that comes through our trauma unit brings a painful reminder of the fragility of the human body , even when it’s young, strong and seemingly immortal. In a split second, a young person with a promising future can become a road toll statistic. And it needn’t happen.”

AAMI’s Reuben Aitchison believes the answer is very simple: “Making out while driving is not cool, it’s not daring, it’s downright dangerous. Don’t fiddle with your sat nav, iPod, smartphone or indulge in any other distracting behaviours while driving – focus on the road. Nothing is more important than getting where you are going in one piece.”

About the Research
Newspoll Research conducted an independent internet survey of 3,714 Australians over the age of 18 across all states and territories in 2011. Collected data has been carefully weighted in line with current ABS population demographics to ensure any extrapolation of results is representative of age, gender and population on a regional, state and national basis.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Reuben Aitchison
AAMI Corporate Affairs
02 8121 0414 / 0421 165 650
[email protected]

Corey Nassau
The Alfred, Corporate Affairs
03 9076 2381 / 0410 404 737
[email protected]

Contact Profile


At AAMI, we know that you want to be sure your car is properly protected by the car insurance policy you purchase. AAMI is a leading national provider of comprehensive car insurance with benefits such as lifetime repair guarantee; lifetime rating one and valet service. Insurance issued by Australian Associated Motor Insurers Ltd (AAMI). Refer to the Product Disclosure Statement at or call 13 22 44.
AAMI Insurance
P: 02 8121 0414 / 0421 165 650


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