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Why does it take a dessert to drive like our life depends on it?

Why does it take a dessert to drive like our life depends on it?

We often don't think twice when it comes to driving with our loved ones, but when we have a delicate, cream topped dessert in the front seat, we'll drive as carefully as we can.

This year, ahead of one of the business times on our roads we conducted the ‘Pavlova Driving Study’. The study involved a survey of 1,059 Australian drivers and a driving experiment of 20 participants, monitoring drivers over an eight day period, looking at how they drove alone, with a child and with a pavlova.

The experiment found that 95% of the participants improved their skills when transporting a pavlova, compared to driving with a child or driving alone.

Commenting on these results, consumer psychologist, Dr. Adrian Camilleri said: “Many participants of the driving experiment were surprised to learn that they were more careful with a pavlova than with a child on our roads. However, over time, we know that driving becomes an automatic process that feels like being in autopilot mode – with or without kids in the back seat – and while in autopilot, we can fall into driving behaviours that contradict our best intentions.”

These holidays we’re reminding Australians to protect what's really precious. Their loved ones.

Here are a few of our top tips for staying safe on the roads during this period:

  • Ensure you are well rested: Fatigue is a major cause of road accidents and getting enough sleep is essential before a lengthy drive.
  • Take breaks every two hours: A 15-minute break is recommended for every two hours on the road. Driver Reviver sites and rest areas are available 24 hours a day all year-round and are clearly signposted. Plan to take breaks on your trip and if you’re feeling tired pull over, don’t force yourself on.
  • Keep your phone out of sight: We use our phones all the time but the one place they should not be used is behind the wheel. To avoid any distraction on the road, mobile phones should be kept out of sight.
  • Have a good meal before driving, but don’t overeat: Keeping your energy levels up is important as driving is a strenuous exercise. Choose sustained energy release foods like bananas and nuts. Avoid sugary things.
  • Keep a safe distance: The busier the roads, the more frustrated drivers can become. Drivers should always keep a safe distance from the car in front, a three second gap from the car in front. Increase this gap when conditions on the road are poor, e.g. at dusk or during a thunderstorm.
  • Share the road: Be alert and courteous. All types of drivers and vehicles use the roads. Look out for trucks, motorcyclists, slower cars, caravans, cyclists and anyone who has pulled over on the side of the road.
  • Avoid glare: Wear sunglasses to prevent eye strain from glare.

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