Texting while driving is turning into one of the biggest distractions on Queensland roads.
The RACQ made the claim during the launch of Queensland Road Safety Week on Monday. Day One will focus on distractions.
RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said the risks associated with texting behind the wheel could not be underestimated.
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“Distracted driving, particularly texting, is fast becoming number one in the Fatal Five for killing Queenslanders,” Ms Ritchie said.
“This is a problem so widespread and there is an ongoing battle to get cut-through, much like where we were with the drink driving message 20 years ago.
“Drivers must realise how dangerous this is. They may think they’ll only be distracted for a moment, but we’re pleading with them to realise every second their eyes are off the road the risk of a crash increases.”
Ms Ritchie said there were three types of driver distraction.
“There’s visual distraction, where you take your eyes off the road; there’s physical distraction, where your hands are off the wheel and there’s cognitive distraction which is when something takes your mind off driving,” she said.
“Checking a phone is particularly dangerous because it taps into all three distraction categories.
“We urge drivers to take a ‘not now approach’ – simply wait until you’ve reached your destination to check your device, or pull over to answer that text.”
RACQ has released a YouTube video on the risks of texting and driving.
For more information on Queensland Road Safety Week visit www.jointhedrive.qld.gov.au.