Shocking number of Qld teens admit to driving while distracted

A new survey has unearthed some confronting new statistics, with almost two-thirds of young Queensland drivers admitting to being distracted while driving.

The alarming data was revealed after RACQ surveyed year 12 students across the state, with 68 per cent admitting they’ve been distracted while behind the wheel.

“Distracted driving is the fastest-growing problem we have on Queensland roads so it’s very concerning to see this statistic remain as high for the second year in a row,” RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said.


Interestingly, more students in the regions admitted to being distracted than those who lived in metro areas, and it’s more common among private school students than in state schools.

“The overwhelming majority of students surveyed told us they believed it was ok to use a mobile phone to play music, to make a loudspeaker call and as a GPS, all behaviours that are illegal for P1 licence holders,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Mobile phone use while driving is one of the leading causes of distraction in the car, and we know it only takes a moment of being a distracted driver for a tragedy to unfold.”

Ms Ritchie said distracted drivers were four times more likely to have a crash.

“Young drivers are consistently overrepresented in our road toll, so add mobile phone distraction to their inexperience, and it’s a crash waiting to happen,” she said

“Distracted driving can be as dangerous as drink driving so it’s really disappointing so many young drivers are putting themselves and others at risk.

“We’re pleading with novice drivers, don’t get into bad habits, put your phone on Do Not Disturb and put it out of sight, so you can focus on driving safely.”

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