Motorists are being urged to put their mobile phones away when driving as new research from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) shows that one in 10 motorists admit to regularly texting while behind the wheel.
The Driver Attitudes & Behaviour Survey 2020 also revealed that nine per cent of motorists admit to driving and talking on a handheld mobile phone, with the same percentage of motorists regularly checking mobile apps while driving.
An Garda Síochána has also issued a warning to motorists ahead of the May Bank Holiday weekend. A total of eight people have been killed and 58 people seriously injured over the May Bank Holiday weekend between 2016-2020.
Gardaí say that it last year issued 24,474 Fixed Charged Notices to drivers for using a mobile phone while driving.
To date in 2021, a total of 40 people have died on Irish roads, 13 less than the same period in 2020.
Sam Waide, RSA CEO says: “If you take your eyes off the road for just one second, a car moving at 50km/h will travel 14 metres – that’s approximately four car lengths. That is 14 metres where a driver is not paying attention to the road.
“Taking a call, sending a text or checking your apps while driving is dangerous behaviour which could result in catastrophic consequences for you or some other road user.
“So put the phone away, it is not worth the risk. Nothing is that urgent that it cannot wait until you are safely parked up. If you know someone is driving, avoid phoning them, it can wait until later.
“With the Bank Holiday approaching we are asking motorists to get into the habit of putting your phone away before setting off on a journey – either turn your mobile phone off, switch it to airplane mode, put it on silent or simply put it out of sight.”