Australian motorists are putting other road users at risk by eating, drinking, using phones and even shaving while behind the wheel.

Eighty-three per cent of Australian drivers are distracted by eating or drinking while on the road, while 48 per cent admit to talking on their phone, the Galaxy Research research found.

Sixty-four per cent of women rummage through handbags in traffic, while 42 per cent perform childcare duties such as setting children in place.

Woman also confess to putting on make up in traffic (20 per cent) and changing their clothes (12 per cent).

Eight per cent of men admit to shaving behind the wheel.

The Australian Driver Trainers Association says multitasking while driving puts other road users at risk.

"Distractions when driving significantly contribute to our risk of having a car accident," president Anthony Cope said in statement.

"Whilst the results show that many believe they can effectively multitask at the wheel, the fact is that every extra task reduces the effectiveness of the most critical task - staying safe on the road."

The research, conducted by Galaxy for Woolworths Insurance, finds drivers try to justify their multitasking, with 33 per cent saying they only do it when stopped in traffic and 31 per cent because they are running late.

Fifteen per cent of drivers plan their multitasking before they get in the car.

The study surveyed 1022 people in August aged between 18-64 years old.