Road Safety News
 

Drivers regularly take ‘huge risk’ by texting

Monday 1st August 2016

42% of respondents to a new survey by road safety charity Brake have admitted to sending or reading text messages while driving at least once a week.

The survey, co-produced by Direct Line, sampled 1,000 motorists and suggests that drivers aged between 18-35 years are most like to text or use apps when at the wheel.

55% of 25-34 year old drivers confessed to sending or reading a text while driving in the last year while almost half (49%) admit to using apps while driving.

One in five young drivers (18-24 years) confirmed they ‘regularly’ text or send instant messages.

Brake points to research which suggests that the reaction time of a texting driver is 35% slower, while texting also causes poor lane control.

The road safety charity also points to a separate study which found texting drivers were 23 times more likely to crash than a driver paying full attention.

Alice Bailey, campaigns and communications adviser for Brake, said: “Younger drivers, especially those aged between 25 and 34, simply aren’t getting the message about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. Doing any other complex task while driving hugely increases your chance of crashing.

“We’ve seen recent examples of drivers who have crashed while trying to play games like Pokémon Go or posting Snapchat images while behind the wheel. These drivers are putting their own and other people’s lives in grave danger by taking this risk.

“If a phone has to be used as a sat nav, it must be programmed before setting off on the journey and properly secured. There is no other acceptable way to use a phone while driving.”

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Studies of crash data in the US, where some states have texting bans whilst others do not, have shown that there is little difference in crash rates between the two, and even an increase in the states with the anti-texting laws. One possible explanation is that drivers in the states with the laws drive more dangerously because they are more distracted by trying to hold their phones out of view of the enforcers. We need to be careful of what we wish for.

(Ref: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/texting-bans-dont-reduce-crashes-effects-are-slight-crash-increases)
Charles, England

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