Distraction of drivers by mobile devices is becoming a major road safety issue – and particularly with young drivers, according to a new NRMA report.
A key finding of Can’t Talk. Driving. is that 41 percent of people involved in serious casualty crashes between 2008 and 2016 where a hand-held mobile phone was a contributing factor were aged 25 or under, even though drivers in this category comprise only 16 per cent of the motoring population.
This is despite law changes that banned P2 drivers in NSW from using mobile phones in any capacity and the statistic supports findings that provisional licence holders are impaired more by mobile phone distraction than full licence holders.
But mobile technology is a threat to all road users: driver distraction in general accounts for nine per cent of total driver involvements in fatal crashes over the same period, while distraction by a hand held mobile phone was a factor in two per cent of all fatal crashes.
Research has also found that older drivers are at greater risk because they have more difficulty multi-tasking and have slower response times.