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1.67 million Kiwis to Travel NZ Roads this Christmas

Dec 22 2011

1.67 million Kiwis to Travel NZ Roads this Christmas

~ Study from TomTom shows 90% of drivers will not take a break during the Christmas journey ~

Auckland, 22 December 2011– TomTom, the world's leading provider of in-car location and navigation products and services, today announced a survey showing that Christmas traffic is expected to be heaviest on 23rd December. Across the country, December 24 came in as the second most popular day for Kiwis to travel to their holiday destination. The survey also revealed 1.67 million Kiwis plan to drive to their Christmas holiday destination*.

TomTom’s holiday traffic survey asked motorists around New Zealand how long and how far they will travel to their Christmas destination this year, to predict the state of the roads during the holiday season.

Worryingly, results show that although most drivers will set off in the early morning or late at night to avoid traffic, three-quarters of Kiwis still do not expect to be delayed by major traffic jams this year.

While travelling to their destination, nearly one in five drivers think they will be spending an hour in traffic jams. Another 8.4% think they’ll be in jams for two hours.

Wellington drivers are shown to be the most pessimistic, with a higher than average belief that they will be stuck in traffic.

The survey also revealed that to reach their Christmas destination, the majority of motorists (67%) have planned journeys of three hours or more - meaning a cold turkey dinner if families are held up by traffic queues.

Valerie Cross, TomTom Public Relations Manager Asia Pacific, said: “Most of the drivers we questioned stated that they will set off in the early morning or late at night to try and beat the traffic, but few realise that every other Christmas driver has the same plan.

“Motorists should try to avoid the inevitable gridlock this Christmas by keeping an eye on the news before setting off, planning lesser known routes in advance, or checking live traffic updates on TomTom’s free online route planner.”

The survey revealed around 60,000 drivers will rely on using GPS real-time traffic to avoid stress and calculate arrival times.

“Whilst around 22% of people are happy to do nothing to avoid traffic jams, drivers that do have a TomTom GO LIVE GPS which includes HD Traffic, a feature which will adjust journeys to avoid existing congestion, can call ahead to let people know exactly what time they will arrive.”

The survey investigated how many breaks drivers will take this year and found that while nearly 90% of drivers will not stop during a short journey, Aucklanders are the most likely to pull over after only an hour for a rest and coffee break.

And while it may seem every car on the road is towing a boat, caravan or trailer when driving on the roads over the holiday period, only 8.5% of cars fit these criteria with Aucklanders more likely to be towing a boat.

Finally, it looks as though male drivers will be dominating the roads with a whopping 74% of respondents saying they expect men to do all or most of the driving.

Ms Cross concluded: “I think this shows that Kiwi men still prefer to be behind the wheel!”

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