Digital driving scourge
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