Driv­ing up risks of a real close call

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - MATTHEW BENNS

ONE in five mo­torists has had a near-miss on the roads be­cause other driv­ers have been dis­tracted by their mo­bile phones.

And al­most a fifth of mo­torists ad­mit to read­ing text mes­sages while driv­ing and us­ing their phones il­le­gally.

NRMA di­rec­tor Tim Trumper said new re­search showed that driv­ers were twice as likely to have a crash if they took their eyes off the road for two sec­onds or more.

“If you’re us­ing your phone il­le­gally behind the wheel you’ll have slower re­ac­tion times, you’ll strug­gle to main­tain con­trol of the car and you’ll be less aware of your sur­round­ings,” he said.

The NRMA’s Can’t Talk. Driv­ing report, re­leased to­day, de­tails re­search and sur­veys which re­veal that young peo­ple un­der the age of 26 ac­count for al­most half of all crashes in­volv­ing phones.

More than 60 per cent of peo­ple who use their phone il­le­gally while driv­ing ex­pect to get caught.

The report calls for a re­view of the ef­fec­tive­ness of the state gov­ern­ment’s Get Your Hand Off It cam­paign, and for new tech­nol­ogy to be in­tro­duced to stop il­le­gal phone use.

“Can’t Talk. Driv­ing high­lights the risks that dis­trac­tions are caus­ing on our roads with peo­ple twice as likely to have a crash or near-crash if they take their eyes off the road for two sec­onds or more,” Mr Trumper said.

“As high­lighted by this report, this be­hav­iour is hap­pen­ing all too of­ten and it is lead­ing to an in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple killed or se­ri­ously in­jured on our roads.

“That’s why the NRMA wants to see new mea­sures taken to re­duce the temp­ta­tion, re­duce the risk and help save lives — es­pe­cially among some of our youngest and most in­ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers.”

The sur­vey also found that 55 per cent of peo­ple use their phones le­gally while driv­ing, usu­ally to let peo­ple know that they are run­ning late, to take work calls or con­tact their fam­ily mem­bers.

Just 20 per cent of peo­ple used them in emer­gen­cies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.