RAC is urging drivers to ditch the distraction, with new research revealing nearly one in every two West Australian motorists has texted while behind the wheel.
A survey of more than 600 WA drivers found 47 per cent of motorists have read, responded to or initiated a text exchange while driving — despite 95 per cent describing it either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ risky.
RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs Will Golsby said it’s deeply concerning so many motorists know the dangers of distracted driving but continue to take the risk anyway.
“It takes an average of five seconds to read a text message but just a split second for a life to be changed forever,” Mr Golsby said.
“Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road trauma and it’s clear far too many motorists are paying attention to their phones instead of the road ahead.
“You are in control of what you are doing behind the wheel but not always in control of the consequences.”
More than 80 per cent of the drivers surveyed admitted to using their phones while driving, with those aged between 17 and 39 three times more likely to have handled their phones while travelling at 70km an hour.
The survey also revealed nearly 60 per cent of motorists have never tried any strategy to prevent them from using their phone while driving.
“We’d encourage more drivers to reduce the temptation by putting their phone out of reach, switching it off completely, or activating do-not-disturb mode,” Mr Golsby said.
“There’s no text message, phone call or email so urgent it’s worth killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else.”
RAC’s recent Look Up campaign aimed to address and educate drivers about the dangers of distraction, inattention and mobile phone use behind the wheel.
RAC Media Contact: Caitlin Barr, 0401 703 719 or firstname.lastname@example.org