Major mistakes drivers make over Easter
For many Aussies, Easter usually goes hand-in-hand with sitting in the car for hours battling holiday traffic to see family or friends, only to do it all over again when the long weekend is over.
With one in four Australians planning a long-distance journey over the next few weeks, heavy traffic is pretty much inevitable.
To try to beat the rush some motorists have taken to adopting questionable driving habits.
This leads to a spike in dangerous driving during the Easter period, according to new research commissioned by NRMA Insurance.
One of the most common ways motorists try to beat the Easter holiday traffic is by driving at times when they should be sleeping, with more than two in three drivers taking part in this risky act.
Baby Boomers are more likely to get on the road before dawn to reach their destination on time, while Millennials are more likely to drive through the night.
The research also identified 80 per cent of drivers admitted they didn't stop every two hours, and four in five admitted to driving on autopilot.
NRMA Insurance marketing director Sally Kiernan said even if drivers didn't feel tired after driving for two hours, it was still important to take a short break to make sure they were as alert as possible.
"Our research shows setting off on a driving holiday before dawn is a popular way to beat the traffic, so it's important to remind drivers to make sure they take a break at least every two hours and don't drive tired," Ms Kiernan said.
As a way of reminding motorists to take a break, NRMA Insurance has launched a safe driving initiative that will involve 100 billboards being installed on major roads and near Driver Reviver stations.
"Each billboard will have a humorous twist to jolt drivers into a sense of awareness and remind them it might be time to take a break," said Ms Kiernan.
The study's results show the way Australians tackle holiday driving needs to change.
Fatigue expert and psychologist, Professor Drew Dawson, said the thought process needed to switch from how to get to your destination quickly to how to get to it safely.
"With half of drivers planning to drive before dawn, and one in five choosing to drive through the night this Easter, it's critical we continue to remind drivers to take breaks and break up long drives," Mr Dawson said.
"When we look back at our evolution, it was our instinctual brain that kept us safe. Especially when it was more important (and safer) to get home quickly than being out.
"However, we weren't on busy roads with thousands of cars. Now it's this thinking of 'I need to get there quickly' that can be dangerous when it comes to driving."
Mr Dawson urged drivers to re-evaluate their travelling method this year by not driving during their usual sleeping hours and scheduling regular breaks.