Young Australians are over-represented in car accident injury and fatality statistics, according to the Royal Automobile Club of WA (RAC), and distracted driving has been named as the leading factor behind these disproportionate figures.
While Australians aged between 14 and 24 account for only 11 per cent of the population, these drivers represent 18 per cent of road fatalities, RAC Group Chief Executive Officer Terry Agnew explained.
These figures have been supported by recent reports from national motor insurer AAMI and South Australian motoring body the Royal Automobile Association (RAA).
AAMI recently announced a funding program dedicated to addressing the issue of distracted drivers on Australian roads. This investment came after the organisation’s Crash Index research showed more than half (56 per cent) of young Australian drivers admit to having read or sent a text message while driving.
Additionally, more than a quarter (27 per cent) say they have read emails or even surfed the internet while driving on public roads.
“The latest trend, with the emergence of short video platforms like [Vine], is young drivers taking short videos and uploading them while driving. And it has to stop,” AAMI spokesperson Reuben Aitchison said.
“So much has been done to reduce the number of young drivers dying on our roads in past years and we cannot let this growing threat undo all that good work.”
Similar research from RAA shows even the young drivers who understand distracted driving laws are struggling to keep their hands off their mobile devices while behind the wheel.
More than a quarter of the high school students surveyed by RAA believed it was okay to check their phone while stopped at a red light.
“No matter what stage of the driving journey, young drivers need to know that any contact with their mobile phone isn’t safe or legal,” RAA General Manager Public Affairs Penny Gale said.
“During those few seconds that you’re concentrating on your phone, anything could happen on the road in front of you.”
If you’ve been involved in a collision with a distracted driver and sustained a car accident injury, you may eligible for compensation. Injury compensation can be paid to help you cover medical expenses resulting from your injuries, in addition to supporting you through any potential loss of income.
For more information on car accident compensation, get in touch with the team at Gerard Malouf Partners. Our car accident lawyers can give you all the information and guidance you need to understand the compensation and claims process.