Did you know that texting while driving at 100km/hr is the equivalent of driving the length of the MCG blindfolded?
Despite that being a pretty scary reality, we know that phone use behind the wheel is still common. Our recent 2017 RAC member survey found that:
A quarter (25%) of our members say they regularly see other drivers using their phones behind the wheel.
More than half (59%) of our members say further driver education is needed on mobile phone use while driving.
*When travelling at 50 kilometres per hour, looking at a phone for just two seconds means a person has travelled 27 metres without even looking at the road. On average it takes around five seconds to read a text message, therefore reading a text while travelling at 100 kilometres an hour on the freeway is the same as driving blindfolded for 138 metres, which is almost the length of the MCG (which is approx. 171m long).
Why it's a problem
- Last year 195 Western Australians died on our roads – 26 of those people were in car crashes caused by driver inattention (According to the Road Safety Commission)I
- Inattention, be it deliberate or unintended, is a significant cause of road trauma and is comparable to the number of deaths caused by speed and drink driving.
What are we doing about it?
As a State, we must work together to reduce the number of lives lost on our roads, and eliminating driver distractions such as mobile phones is one of the ways we can aim to do that. All road users should obey laws relating to the use of hand-held mobile phones.
RAC is educating young drivers on the dangers of inattention through our Community Education team, which has reached more than half a million students since 2002.
Each year we deliver our annual bstreetsmart event to WA high school students. The 2017 even saw almost 9,000 year 10 and 12 students fill Perth Arena to witness the confronting crash re-enactment, which uses actors as road victims, real life paramedics to demonstrate the impact of road trauma, as well as special guests who share how road trauma has personally affected their lives.
Our Elephant in the Wheatbelt continues to raise awareness about the dangerous driving habits on regional roads, where sadly, the most fatalities occur.
RAC continually calls on drivers to resist the temptation to use their phone behind the wheel
RAC is calling on the Government to invest in driver education and awareness campaigns.