Distracted driving kills, yet we see it every day: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has again pleaded with drivers to put their phones away while behind the wheel after it was revealed distraction was the fastest-growing killer on Queensland roads.

man putting his phone in his bag

The Courier Mail reported distraction-related road deaths were the fastest-growing category of the “Fatal Five” ­fatalities according to a recent Federal Government submission.

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said it was shocking distraction was behind 341 deaths between 2007 and 2017 in Queensland.

“We know the real figure is likely much higher, because the behaviour is under reported,” Mr Spalding said.

“It’s a deadly behaviour and it needs to stop. It’s baffling people are reaching for the phone and are being distracted behind the wheel when they know they’re risking crashing and potentially killing someone.”

Mr Spalding recounted some of the appalling examples of distracted driving he had seen on the road.

“Recently I saw someone driving a vehicle completely hands off – and it wasn’t an autonomous vehicle – they were on the phone and they were reading,” he said.

“It may have been only 30km/h but here was an individual who didn’t see the risk or perhaps selfishly thought what they had to do was more important.”

Mr Spalding implored drivers to take the warnings seriously, shift their attitude, and concentrate on driving safely.

“The solution lies with people owning a social responsibility that this is about their safety and the safety of those that they probably live and work with.”