Drivers risking lives to check Facebook behind the wheel
PUBLISHED May 23, 2012
A survey by the motoring organisation found the dramatic rise among 25 to 44-year-olds, who were at risk of being distracted by checking their smartphones while driving.
The RAC warned the temptation to check applications on mobile phones while behind the wheel was quickly becoming a "new breed of motoring offence".
David Bizley, technical director, said: ""These offences don't yet have the same social taboo that drink-driving now holds, which thanks to years of concerted campaigns has continued to decrease as a problem."
The poll of more than a thousand motorists also found the number of 17 to 24-year-olds driving under the influence of drugs had gone up by four points in the past 12 months.
More than 10 per cent of young drivers said they had driven or been a passenger in a car where the driver was under the influence of drugs.
Overall, 44 per cent said they felt less safe than ever on the roads. Almost two thirds said there was not enough police on the roads with around a quarter believing they would not get caught if they broke motoring laws.
Meanwhile more than 40 per cent said they wanted to see a ban for illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel.
"We welcome recent announcements that Government will tighten enforcement around drug-driving, but the planned changes focus too much on penalties rather than prevention," Mr Bizley added.
"Government funding should be directed to educating people through road safety campaigns to deter them from driving dangerously and putting lives at risk."