Sunday 20 January 2019

'Put the bloody thing away' - One in 12 drivers admit using phone while driving

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Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

One in 12 drivers admit using their phone while driving, according to a new study.

The survey of over 6,000 Irish road users, undertaken by AA Car Insurance, found that 5.48 per cent of respondents admitted to occasionally using their phone while driving on an open road.

Almost one per cent of respondents stated that they use their phone while driving in flowing traffic on a daily basis.

AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan urged motorists to "put the bloody thing away".

“Phone use by Irish drivers is at ridiculously high levels.

"It's dysfunctional. We all know you can’t do it and we all know its dangerous, but every single day Irish drivers in their tens and hundreds of thousands can’t resist the urge. Put the bloody thing away and watch what you are doing.”

The AA has welcomed tough legislation to help reduce the use of mobiles by road users but again points to deficiencies in the levels of policing on Irish roads.

“Unfortunately, for some people if they feel the risk of being caught is relatively low they’re willing to flout the law and, in doing so, put other road users in danger," said Mr Faughnan.

Another 60pc of those surveyed admitted to having used their phone while stopped at a red light in the past.

“Even when stuck at a red light it’s important that your concentration remains on the road in front of you and that you’re on the lookout for vulnerable road users. If you’re looking down at your phone when the light changes to green it’s likely that you’ll take off without properly assessing your surroundings, something which can endanger more vulnerable road users like cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists,” Faughnan added.

“Whatever you’re doing on your phone can absolutely wait. Simply put the text you’re sending or call you’re trying to make isn’t worth putting your safety or that of other road users in danger.”

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