A study by the NRMA has found that Australian drivers take more care and have better driving habits when they have a pavlova in the car than when they are transporting their children.
Over 1000 Australians were surveyed about their driving habits and their own opinion of their driving skills. The majority of participants had a high opinion of their driving, and 50% of parents said that they were more cautious when driving with their children in the car. Only 12% said that they were more careful when driving with a pavlova. However, when drivers were actually put to the test, they were much more likely to improve their driving when transporting a pavlova, compared to when they had children in the car or were driving alone. In fact, 95% of drivers improved their skills when driving with the dessert. Researchers asked 20 parents to transport a pavlova, drive with children, and drive alone. When transporting the pavlova, drivers improved their acceleration and braking skills, took corners more cautiously and were less likely to speed. Drivers were also less likely to use their phone when driving with the dessert.
According to a psychologist, because transporting a pavlova is ‘out of the ordinary’ this was likely to get drivers out of autopilot mode and result in more cautious and attentive driving. Further, when driving with kids in the car, motorists are often required to divide their attention between the road and the kids, resulting in more distracted driving. Clearly, a pavlova won’t fight with its siblings in the back seat or ask ‘are we there yet?’.