RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said over-confidence was a contributing factor when it came to distracted driving, as many of the partakers in the study considered themselves to be good drivers who could manage the occasional quick text.
“It’s concerning some of these drivers actually believe they’re safer and more skilled than others – the facts tell us that’s not true,” Mr Spalding said.
“Evidence shows it’s virtually impossible to fully focus on two things at once, including driving safely. That’s why we always urge people to keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on the driving task at all times.”
Mr Spalding said while bad habits could be hard to break, there were a number of simple ways drivers could resist being distracted.
“If you can’t control yourself, put your phone in the boot of your car, a bag or the glove compartment. Out of sight means out of mind so you’re less likely to be tempted to touch it and become distracted,” he said.
“You can also activate the ‘do not disturb’ function, or turn app notifications off.
“We can’t stress enough how dangerous it is – if you’re distracted by a phone, you’re at least four times more likely to have a crash. The sad reality is it may cost you or someone else their life because of your inattention.”