Texting drivers risking lives: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has slammed the complacent attitude of some Queensland motorists as new research found drivers were more concerned about their phones than their lives.

Courier Mail reported the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland found motorists struggled to put down the phone while behind the wheel despite the fact texting motorists were six times more likely to crash.

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said arrogant motorists continued to handle devices behind the wheel because they did not see any risks with their behaviour or believed they  would not get caught.

“What more can we do to get the message across – when you pick up a phone while behind the wheel you’re risking the lives of yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the road,” Ms Smith said.

“Distraction is one of the fatal five for a reason, people need to wake up to the risks.

“Concerningly, this research tells us we have a long way to go to shift the public’s attitude –  despite the proof, motorists still don’t see distracted driving as a contributor to trauma on our roads.”

Ms Smith said RACQ recommended motorists put their phones out of reach when they were behind the wheel.

“Texting while driving is as dangerous as drink driving,” she said.

“We face a huge challenge to change the behaviour of motorists who are so tempted to reach for their phone whenever it buzzes.

“At the end of the day drivers need to leave the phone alone and focus on driving. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, but you’ll miss out on more if you crash.”