Teenagers distracting their drivers

Texting while driving. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Texting while driving. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

THE road is not the place to fool around.

That is the message after a worrying statistic showed high school students weren't letting their friends or family drive properly.

An incredible 85% of respondents in the RACQ survey admitted to engaging in distracting behaviour whilst travelling as a passenger.

Warwick and Districts Road Safety Group secretary Andrew Gale said drivers regularly had to cope with distractions whilst on the road.

"As drivers there are a level of distractions to expect on the road," Mr Gale said.

"Driving schools today help to teach people to combat distractions whilst they are driving.

"When they are taken to excess however, they can become a problem."

Mobile phone use from passengers to engage drivers was one way in which passengers admitted to diverting attention.

"There are good reasons why drivers aren't allowed to use mobiles," he said.

"There is nothing so important that can't wait until you're pulled over."

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said it was a problem that needed addressing.

"Distraction is the fastest-growing problem on our roads," Ms Ritchie said.

"While the dangers of distracted driving are well known, the responsibility passengers play in not pulling the focus off the task of driving needs a lot of work.

"It might seem harmless to offer some food to the driver or hold up your phone to show a photo - but for the driver to look away for even two seconds when driving at 60 kmh, he or she can travel up to 33 metres completely blind."

Topics:  distracting driving mobile phone racq

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