Sunday 24 September 2017

Younger drivers' drug and mobile use is on the rise

Peter Woodman

DANGER signs are emerging from surveys over the past few months that drug-driving and using mobiles while at the wheel are on the rise among younger motorists.

While many of the surveys reflect trends in Britain or further afield, there is every reason to suspect Irish drivers are not much different.

According to the most recent survey by the RAC, as many as 44pc of drivers said they felt less safe on the roads this year than before.

Based on responses from 1,002 motorists, the survey showed that the number of 17 to 24-year-olds who drove their car after taking drugs has gone up from 5pc to 9pc in the past 12 months.

As many as 13pc of 17 to 24-year-olds had driven, or been a passenger in, a car when the driver was under the influence of drugs in the past year.

Also, there has been a 50pc increase in the past 12 months in the number of 25 to 44-year-olds who have used their smartphones to access email, Facebook and Twitter while driving.

A total of 44pc felt less safe than ever on the roads, and only 22pc felt safer.

RAC technical director David Bizley said: "The growth of the new breed of motoring offences -- such as drug-driving and social networking behind the wheel -- is highly concerning."

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