Gen Y most likely to text and drive

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 12:45 27/12/2013

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Generation Ys have the most dangerous habits when it comes to texting or talking while driving, a new survey shows.

A consumer satisfaction survey of 2144 New Zealanders by financial research and ratings company Canstar Blue found New Zealanders aged between 18 and 29 were the most likely to indulge in the practice.

Canstar New Zealand general manager Derek Bonnar said almost 20 per cent of Gen Ys regularly talked or texted while driving, putting themselves and others in danger.

According to an Australian study published in the British Medical Journal a person using a mobile phone while driving, either hands-free or hand-held, is four times more likely to have a serious crash resulting in a visit to hospital.

Auckland Transport said crash statistics recognised the group aged 15 to 24 had proportionately higher driver distraction, resulting in related fatal and serious crashes.

Bonnar said Canstar Blue had tracked mobile phone use while driving for the past two years and the incidence of texting or talking while driving had not worsened during 2013.

With the holiday driving season approaching it was a timely reminder of the dangers of being distracted on road trips, he said.

Gen Ys were also most likely to sneak a peek at their partner's phone, the survey showed.

The temptation to spy on a partner was strongest for Gen Ys, with 25 per cent of those surveyed confessing to secretly looking through their partner's phone. Baby Boomers, those aged 45 or more, were the most trusting with only 5 per cent peeking at their partner's phone.

The customer satisfaction survey also asked Kiwis about their mobile phone experience in terms of value for money, customer service, accessibility of the provider, billing, network coverage and overall satisfaction.

Low-cost operator 2degrees took out the top prize, beating industry giants Telecom and Vodafone.

Bonnar said it would be hard to imagine the mobile phone sector without 2degrees.

"Since 2009, 2degrees has brought a new level of competition to the market, which is great for consumers that are looking for better value from a mobile phone provider," Bonnar said.

2degrees provided an alternative to consumers actively looking to support a challenger brand, he said.

BY REGION

Auckland:

Aucklanders were most likely to peek at their partner's phone (16 per cent), 13 per cent text or talk while driving and 27 per cent said they had more than one mobile. Aucklanders were also the most likely to allow children in their family to use a mobile phone (18 per cent).

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Waikato:

People from Waikato were most likely to have a hands-free or blue tooth kit in their car (28 per cent).

Bay of Plenty:

Almost 15 per cent of people from Bay of Plenty switched provider in the past year. Only 18 per cent had more than one phone.

Wellington:

Ten per cent of Wellingtonians were likely to peek at their partner's phone.

Canterbury:

Cantabrians were more likely to have multiple phones with multiple providers (12 per cent), and 20 per cent had been caught out by high roaming charges when travelling overseas.

Otago:

Only 5 per cent of people from Otago switched providers in the past 12 months. They were also the least likely to have a hands-free or blue tooth kit in their car (18 per cent), least likely to be caught out by high roaming charges when travelling overseas (14 per cent) and least likely to have a mobile phone for work (23 per cent).

- Fairfax Media

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