Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Most drivers admit using mobiles:

More than half of Australian drivers have used mobile phones while driving, a new survey has found.
Date: February 11 2012
Editor Rating:

In the 2011 Survey of Community Attitudes to Road Safety, 54% of drivers admit they have answered calls while driving and 27% own up to making calls.

Nearly one-third of respondents admit reading text messages while in control of a moving car, and 14% say they have sent messages.

But 86% acknowledge using a mobile phone while driving increases the chance of an accident.

Almost 98% of respondents in the survey, released by the Federal Government, agreed with random breath testing and 85% were in strong agreement.

Respondents also agreed speed was the factor that most often caused accidents.

Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King said the survey showed a complex picture of the community's relationship with road safety.

"The findings suggest that Australians generally have good awareness of the major factors involved in road crashes, such as speeding, drink driving, lack of concentration and fatigue," Ms King said in a statement.

"It also shows that Australians on the whole approve of existing traffic regulation and enforcement practices."

However, Ms King said these responsible attitudes did not necessarily translate to responsible driver behaviour.

"I am particularly disturbed by the proportion of drivers who admit to reading or sending text messages.

"It should be obvious to everyone that texting while driving is reckless behaviour and is simply unacceptable."

While drivers' knowledge of the dangers of speeding has increased, 70% of drivers admit to sometimes travelling at 10 kilometres or more above the speed limit.

And 28% of people believe it is all right to speed as long as it is done safely.

Driver fatigue is still a significant issue.

About 13% of respondents said they had fallen asleep at the wheel, and among them 44% had done so more than once.

Have you used your phone while driving?

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Recent Comments
5 Total Comments
Francis says: 2012 02 11

I think that driver fatigue and plain old inattention are the main culprits, especially in major accidents.

Averil says: 2012 02 11

Mobile usage is responsible for a lot of minor bingles and is therefore probably not liked by the insurance industry.

Caroline says: 2012 02 11

In Melbourne drivers are very aggressive - especially young men of muscle bound appearance and stubbly chin - maybe it has something to do with testosterone levels.  On the otehr hand mums have lots of little accidents because they are trying to pick up the dropped toy for the screaming toddler whilst driving.

Jane B says: 2012 02 11

Agree Francis. I reckon fatigue is a big issues, people shouldn’t be on mobiles though. I must admit I’m part of the 58% that have…

Felicity says: 2012 02 11

Cannot believe the attitude of motherpedia readers I here. Talking on the mobile phone while driving is a distraction made worse by the fact that the person you are talking to can’t see what’s happening, unlike talking with a passenger. If you really can’t refrain from mobile phone use, get a proper hands free package.

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