RAC says the best gift Western Australians can give their friends and family this Christmas is ensuring they take extra care on the roads.
RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs, Will Golsby, said tragically 143 lives have been lost on WA roads this year, with many more seriously injured.
“So far, sixty-three people have been killed on Perth roads, and 80 on WA’s regional roads,” Mr Golsby said.
“As we enter into one of the busiest time of the year, its important for Western Australians to take extra care behind the wheel – including ditching the distraction.
“The Christmas and New Year holiday period provides a welcome opportunity to take a trip to holiday destinations across the State.
“But driving holidays in our State can be long, and drivers seeking a distraction from the vast stretches of WA road is a significant problem.
“Inattention, be it deliberate or unintended, is a significant cause of road trauma and is now comparable to the number of deaths caused by speed and drink driving.”
According to the Road Safety Commission, 14 per cent of road fatalities in 2016 were a result of inattention.
“That is 26 lives lost in one year, caused by drivers not paying attention behind the wheel,” Mr Golsby said.
Furthermore, in the five-year period from 2012 to 2016, 74 WA drivers were killed as a result of the inattention of another driver.
“Mobile phone use behind the wheel continues to be a concern, with 95 per cent of RAC’s Roadside Assistance Patrols reporting they see drivers using their mobile phones.
“Furthermore, almost a third of RAC members think more driver education is needed with mobile phone use behind the wheel.
“RAC’s advice is to put your mobile phone away while driving, or even turn them completely off.
“We all have a role to play in ensuring that all Western Australians get home safely to their families this Christmas.
“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.”
- 95 per cent of RAC Roadside Assistance Patrols see road users using mobile phones behind the wheel*
- 59 per cent of RAC members say more driver education is needed with mobile phone use behind the wheel**
- 25 per cent of RAC members say they regularly see other motorists using a mobile phone while driving**
- 55 per cent of young drivers admit to driving while sending a text message or email^
- 36 per cent of young drivers admit to driving while talking on the phone^
- 34 per cent of young drivers admit they have seen their parent/guardian drive while talking on the phone^
- 20 per cent of young drivers say they have seen their parent/guardian text while driving^
* Based on a 2015 survey of approx. 100 RAC Roadside Assistance Patrols
** Based on 2017 survey of approx. 2,000 RAC members
^ Based on a survey of approx. 500 RAC free2go members
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