Mobile phone use behind the wheel continues to be a significant problem on Ireland’s roads but a new survey of Irish motorists reveals that nearly half of drivers (46 percent) would support the introduction of technology to disable certain phone functions for the sake of safety.
More than one in four respondents (26 percent) felt that some form of blocking device would be more effective at deterring mobile phone use than the introduction of harsher penalties.
The survey of Irish motorists for Continental Tyres’ Vision Zero initiative – a commitment to reduce road fatalities worldwide – also highlighted that more than half of drivers (54 percent) admit to regularly using their mobile phone while behind the wheel.
In terms of the main activity that drivers engage in on their phones while behind the wheel, making / receiving calls and texting are still the most common activities – nearly two thirds or 64 percent of those who admit to using a phone behind the wheel say this is their most regular activity on the phone. However, with the recent rise in the popularity of smart phones, nearly half, 49 percent of drivers say they regularly use their phone for accessing their social media profiles while driving.
Head of Continental Tyres Ireland, Tom Dennigan, said: “Our research reveals that drivers know that their use of phones is illegal, distracting and dangerous, yet it is clear that many of them cannot help themselves.
“Nearly one in four, 23 per cent, told us they struggle to be digitally disconnected and 36 per cent felt that so many people now checked their mobile in traffic that the practice has become normal.