A majority of drivers on Queensland roads do not believe that it is dangerous to text while driving.
It is shocking to hear that new research conducted by the Centre of Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) has found that drivers are more concerned with “fear of missing out” than the fear of dying.
Drivers who text are more than six times more likely to be in a crash and those talking on their phones are twice as likely to be involved in a traffic accident.
The study has found that women are more likely than men to use their phone while driving. Less experienced drivers are also more likely to use their phones than more experienced drivers.
In August 2016 Queenslander Graham Walters was riding his bicycle in a designated cycle lane when he was hit by a car and thrown 30 metres after a driver reached for her mobile phone. Mr Walters survived but is now a paraplegic. The driver that caused the accident pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm. She received a 2 year jail term and lost her licence for an extended period of time.
Researchers are calling on new laws to be introduced so that drivers caught using their mobile phones while driving will lose their licence completely.
As at 1 July 2018, you may be fined $391 and receive 3 demerit points if your mobile phone is in your hand and being used for any reason while you are driving – including when you are stopped at a red light or in congested traffic.