A recent study has found that almost one in 12 motorists have used their phone while driving at flowing speed on an open road on at least an ‘occasional’ basis.
The survey of almost 6,000 Irish road users, undertaken by AA Car Insurance, found that 5.26% of respondents admitted to occasionally using their phone while driving on an open road, with a further 1.49% admitting to regularly doing so.
The survey also found that over 60% of motorists surveyed admitted to using their movable on at least a rare or occasional basis while stopped at a red light.
Just under 1% of respondents stated that they use their phone while driving in flowing traffic on a daily basis.
“While modern technology has made many aspects of our lives much easier, phone use at the wheel is a true modern scourge when it comes to road safety,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “Just as we’ve made significant progress in tackling drink-driving, we now need people to understand that your eyes must be on the road when you’re driving and not a screen.”
While road-policing efforts have been significantly stepped up during the current and previous lockdowns, the AA stated that the figures highlight a need to maintain a high Garda presence on our roads even after COVID measures are eased.
“While the primary purpose of the Garda presence on our roads currently is enforcing the lockdown measures relating to travel, the sight of Garda cars on major routes should help stamp out this behaviour. Unfortunately there are some who, if they feel they can get away with it, are willing to risk their own lives or the lives of others over a text or a call that could easily wait,” Faughnan added.
“On average, traffic volumes remain significantly below pre-COVID levels, but there has been a noticeable increase in the number of pedestrians and cyclists on many of our roads, so motorists really need to focus on the task at hand in order to keep all road users safe.”