The most important road safety tip you’ll probably hear in your life? It’s to put your mobile away. Using a phone while driving is incredibly dangerous and yet a quarter of Australians admit to doing it. Here’s why this is the biggest problem facing our roads today.
Watch this video on the consequences of using your phone while driving – then read the stats below……
It causes accidents
Simply put, using your mobile phone while driving can cause an accident. In fact, there’s a pretty high chance that it will, especially if you do it regularly. Statistics show that around 22% of car accidents and a worryingly high 71% of truck accidents in Australia are caused by people using phones while driving.
Those numbers show, without any doubt, that phones do cause accidents. If you still think it won’t happen to you, perhaps because you’re better at multi-tasking than other people, you need to read on.
It’s hard to focus
Even if you think you’re great at focusing – and even if you’re using a hands-free system – you might not be as good at managing your attention as you think. Tests have shown that using a complex voice-activated system, like Siri, can derail your attention for as much as 22 seconds after you stop using it. That’s right – it doesn’t just distract you while you use it, but the effects continue afterwards as well. You have to wrench your brain back to the here and now.
As for texting while driving, looking down at your phone for just two seconds while travelling at 60kmph will leave you blind for 33 metres. Once you look up, you’ll be thinking about what you read on the screen – not what’s on the road.
The consequences are dire
When you text, call, or use your phone in any way while driving, the consequences could be incredibly dire. The statistics tell us that:
- 1,225 people died in road crashes in Australia in 2017
- Around 26% of people injured in road accidents will receive life-threatening injuries
- The highest rate of injury or death in road crashes is for 15 to 24-year-olds
- Injuries sustained in car accidents can be lifelong, such as loss of limbs, brain damage, partial or full paralysis, or loss of organ function requiring lifelong treatment
The crux of the matter is that if you repeatedly use your mobile phone while driving, you’re likely to eventually get into a crash that kills either you or someone else. If you do it even once, you’re running that same risk.