Road rage and distractions on the rise: AA Insurance calls on drivers to stay cool this summer

  • 46% of Kiwis say road rage has become worse since the start of the pandemic

  • 28% of Kiwi drivers say they have been involved in a road rage incident in the past 12 months

  • 41% of Kiwis say other drivers are the biggest distraction on the road, up from 37% in 2018

AA Insurance has released data showing road rage is on the rise and highlighting the country's worst driving distractions in a bid to help holidaymakers arrive safely at their destinations.

The insurer’s latest motor survey shows 46% percent of respondents believe road rage has become worse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Concerningly, it highlighted 28% of Kiwis have been involved in a road rage incident in the past year, with drivers aged 18 to 29 years old at the most risk.

Beau Paparoa, Head of Motor Claims at AA Insurance, says “We’re heading into the first summer in years without COVID-19 travel restrictions, and holiday spots are welcoming back international tourists, so we’re expecting to see plenty of traffic on the roads.

“We know it can be stressful sharing the roads at a chaotic time of year when your resilience may be low and you just want to get to your destination, but we all know that getting angry and impulsive while behind the wheel is never worth it – it’s a recipe for disaster. It always pays to keep a cool head in traffic and queues and take plenty of breaks if you’re getting agitated or aren’t enjoying the ride – this is especially important if you’re starting to drift off or lose your concentration.”

AA Insurance’s survey data shows 41% of Kiwi drivers ranking other road users (cyclists, drivers, e-scooter users, pedestrians) as the biggest distraction while driving – up from 37% in 2018.

Texting or using your mobile phone ranked second, with 26% of respondents saying this is most likely to distract them behind the wheel.

“With busier roads there is a greater risk of distraction and ultimately vehicle accidents, so we’re calling on all drivers to be extra mindful of each other and allow plenty of time to arrive safely at their destination,” Paparoa said.

Road users also identified distracted drivers as the biggest threat to their own safety on the roads, with 69% of respondents saying other drivers who were eating, using mobile phones or in-car entertainment pose the biggest risk to them and their passengers.

Please contact for a regional breakdown of the survey data. 

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association Limited (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 1000+ employees look after 500,000+ customers with more than 1,000,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety New Zealand – the Children’s Charity (as the lead partner of its Beds for Kids programme), Student Volunteer Army and support grassroot school sports via our Big Little Sponsorship sports grant in partnership with Eden Park. We are consistently recognised in industry awards and honours, including being voted the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted General Insurer for 13 years running, named Canstar’s 2023 Home and Contents Insurer of the Year and Outstanding Value Award winner, and currently ranked 7th amongst 100 of New Zealand’s most successful companies in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015).

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