Monday 26 August 2019

#HaveYourSay: Do you use your phone while driving?

One in four Irish drivers texts at the wheel, according to a study

Almost half (45pc) of Irish motorists admitted to making phone calls behind the wheel without a hands-free kit, while in the UK the equivalent number was 20pc. Stock Image: GETTY
Almost half (45pc) of Irish motorists admitted to making phone calls behind the wheel without a hands-free kit, while in the UK the equivalent number was 20pc. Stock Image: GETTY
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

A quarter of Irish drivers (26pc) admit to sending text messages while at the wheel, twice as many as in the UK, a study has shown.

The research, carried out by Ipsos Mori on behalf of Aviva, looked at driving habits across 13 countries around the world.

Indonesian drivers were most likely to text behind the wheel, with some 54pc admitting to the dangerous habit.

Almost half (45pc) of Irish motorists admitted to making phone calls behind the wheel without a hands-free kit, while in the UK the equivalent number was 20pc.

It also showed that four out of five (84pc) Irish drivers use electronic devices while at the wheel, compared to 66pc of drivers in the UK.

The numbers who report checking their social media while driving in Ireland is also more than double that of the UK (15pc to 7pc).

In this respect, only Italian drivers are worse than Irish drivers among our European counterparts, at 17pc.

Speaking about the findings, Michael Bannon, underwriting manager with Aviva Motor Insurance, said: "It is shocking to find that so many drivers are taking such risks, given all that we know about road safety. Just a split second of distraction or lapse in concentration can result in death on the road.

"Technology has revolutionised our lives for the better in very many respects but, when it comes to road safety, its ability to distract can prove lethal."

When it comes to distractions on the road, technology was not the only contributing factor.

The research also found that 40pc of Irish drivers admit driving while excessively tired, compared to 31pc in the UK, while 60pc of Irish drivers admit to eating or drinking while driving, the highest proportion in Europe. While the numbers admitting to putting on make-up while driving are small across all countries included in the survey, Ireland emerges as the highest in Europe with 7pc confessing to doing their make-up behind the wheel.

Irish Independent

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