Breaking the habit

More than 50% of Queensland motorists admitted to using their phone behind the wheel and half thought they can get away with it.

Exclusive research by RACQ found motorists thought it was “not at all likely” they’d be caught, despite survey respondents believing it was the second-most dangerous behaviour behind drink driving.

RACQ has launched a new campaign aimed at those who think it’s okay to make a call, send a text, update a social media status or type an address into maps, while driving.

The ‘Bag a phone, not a body’ campaign highlights the dangers of using a phone while behind the wheel.

“This is a very real safety risk — one in four crashes is a result of driver distraction and using your mobile phone increases your risk of serious injury by about four times,” RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said.

“It’s time we shift the mentality away from thinking using your phone while driving is okay.

Yes, infringement plays a role here but for real change to occur, we need a societal shift.

“Drivers need to take ownership of this issue and put their phones away, and passengers need to speak up.”

Acting Inspector of the Road Policing Command Bradyn Murphy warned those who flouted the law were in their sights.

“No phone call, text message or Facebook post is worth losing your life or endangering the lives of others,” Acting Inspector Murphy said.

“Please put your phone away and use all of your facilities to concentrate on the important issue of driving on our roads safely.”

Fast facts

  • The average person checks their phone 150 times a day.

  • Australian men unlock their phones more than anyone in the world – on average 45-46 times a day.

  • Texting behind the wheel is comparable to having a blood alcohol reading of between 0.07 and 0.10.

  • If you take your eyes off the road for two seconds while moving at 50km/h, you’ll travel up to 28 metres.