Toby Morris

10 x 100: Motorists on driving New Zealand roads this summer

In 10 x 100, we survey a group of 100 people via Stickybeak and ask them 10 questions. Last month we quizzed Wellingtonians. Today, we ask NZ drivers how they’ve found a holiday period without international tourists, and what  they get up to while they’re on the road.

Across Aotearoa roads have been packed with holidaymakers across the last month. With borders closed and Covid contained, how different did drivers find it? One thing certainly didn’t go away; in fact it got worse: the holiday period road toll more than doubled.

As holiday memories for most us faded like the horizon in the rear view mirror, we polled 100 motorists (found via social media; they’re not necessarily Spinoff readers) to find out what they made of it all.

1.

As dependable as a monster jam south of Ōtaki, every summer brings a flood of complaints about tourist drivers ruining it for everyone. It was already pretty clearly xenophobic, but the great social experiment of Covid, which has meant all but a thimble full of international tourists are on our roads leaves little doubt: the problem is us.

We asked: Compared to usual, how have you found the overall quality of driving on NZ roads this summer? A paltry four of the 100 thought it was better than usual.

2.

Did you exceed the speed limit while driving this Summer? An impressive 62% of respondents didn’t do so even once (that’s assuming they weren’t deluded or lying). Only two of 100 confessed to speeding a lot.

3.

The days of the chunky GPS stuck to the windscreen might be mostly over, but how many of us rely on a navigation service, whether built-in or on a phone, to guide us from A to B? (Foolishly we didn’t think to ask for a preference on the voice of the navigation announcer.)

4.

No doubt plenty of people would have liked to pick many or all of these, but there could be only one. And the top of the heap of annoying habits in other drivers, by a reasonable distance, was failing to indicate.

5.

Fortunately only a handful of our survey takers are the kinds of people to annoy other drivers. Just five of the 100 have a habit of failing to indicate. The worst habit, fessed to by 23 of our respondents, is driving too slowly.

6.

Fatigue is a killer on New Zealand roads, and with rare exception, motorists are advised to take a break every few hours to smell flowers, snack and empty bladders. We asked:  When you drive long distances how long is it before you usually feel you need a break?

7.

There are currently three toll roads in New Zealand: two near Tauranga and another north of Auckland. How did our motorists feel about tolls as the way forward?

8.

Games! We asked: What is your favourite game to play in the car, which prompted half a dozen responses suggesting it is contemptible to play games in a car because driving is a serious business. Good luck being in for a long trip with one of them. Of the games cited, I Spy came out top, with some version of car cricket or car colour / licence plate tallying second, followed by singalongs, which, well, is it a game? Who knows.

9.

Word cloud time! What do we love about driving in this country?

10.

And what do we most hate?


Stickybeak is a conversational research platform that uses social media to reach targeted audiences, giving you insights to make better decisions. Stickybeak surveyed 100 self-selecting motorists, targeted via social media geolocation.

 




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