Dig­i­tal driv­ing scourge

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By MARK HINCH­LIFFE

MO­BILE phones, iPods and GPS units are the new ‘‘drink-driv­ing’’ scourge of young mo­torists, a new sur­vey shows.

While the num­ber of 18 to 24-year-old driv­ers who say they have driven while in­tox­i­cated has fallen 5 per cent to 15 per cent last year, an alarm­ing num­ber ad­mit to tex­ting, or fid­dling with their iPod or GPS while driv­ing.

AAMI’s 11th annual Young Driv­ers In­dex re­leased re­cently shows that the tra­di­tional ar­eas of con­cern for young driv­ers such as al­co­hol, drugs and speed­ing have im­proved.

How­ever, AAMI spokesman David Skapinker says the age group is worse than any other in be­ing dis­tracted by tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘Mo­biles, iPods and GPS are the new drink-driv­ing among young driv­ers,’’ Mr Skapinker says.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of driv­ers aged 18-24 say they have il­le­gally used their mo­bile while driv­ing, 58 per cent sent a text mes­sage, 20 per cent read emails or checked the in­ter­net on their mo­biles, 32 per cent fid­dled

Mo­biles, iPods and GPS are the new drink-driv­ing among young driv­ers

with their sat­nav and 47 per cent lost con­cen­tra­tion chang­ing mu­sic.

Mr Skapinker said young peo­ple ap­pear to be suf­fer­ing ‘‘nomo­pho­bia — a fear of be­ing out of reach of your mo­bile’’.

How­ever, there was some good news in the in­dex, which is based on a na­tional Newspoll sur­vey of 3740 driv­ers.

It found young driv­ers are more re­spon­si­ble about speed­ing and driv­ing while drunk or on drugs.

It found the num­ber of young driv­ers who be­lieve recre­ational drugs have lit­tle af­fect on driv­ing per­for­mance has halved to 6 per cent, while the pro­por­tion who ad­mit­ted to speed­ing had dropped 5 per cent to 43 per cent.

An alarm­ing num­ber of young ad­mit to tex­ting, or fid­dling with their iPod or GPS while driv­ing

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