Almost half of Irish motorists see others using phones

The AA survey found just over 5% have never seen a driver use a phone

Almost half of Irish motorists see others using phones

Image: RSA

Almost half of Irish motorists have encountered drivers using their mobile phone while behind the wheel on a daily basis.

That is according to recent research from AA Ireland.

The survey of over 3,000 motorists revaluated that 46.52% stated that while driving they encounter another motorists using a phone or hand-held device while behind the wheel on a daily basis.

27.72% of those surveyed say they encountered other road users using their phone while driving on a 'very regular' basis, while 11.74% spot the habit on a 'somewhat regular' basis.

And just 5.20% of those surveyed have never encountered another driving using their phone behind the wheel.

"How often, if at all, have you witnessed another driver using a phone or hand-held device while driving?" | Source: AA Ireland

Using a phone or hand-held device while driving can result in a fine of €60 and two penalty points.

This rises to a fine of up to €2,000 and four penalty points in the event of a court conviction.

'Underappreciating the danger'

The AA says while road safety legislation allows for the use of hands-free kits while driving, it is warning motorists that any usage of a phone while driving can affect your concentration.

Conor Faughnan, AA director of consumer affairs, said: "In many ways, because it's something we do on a daily basis, we can all be guilty of underappreciating just how dangerous driving truly is.

"That danger, as well as your risk of being involved in a collision or incident, increases significantly if you opt to use a phone while driving.

"While phones make modern life easier in many ways, when you’re behind the wheel driving requires 100% of your attention. No matter how important you think the call or text may be, you’re number one priority should always be the safety of yourself and other road users."

Hem added: "Even if you have a hands-free kit in your car engaging in any conversation increases your risk of being involved in some kind of incident and, at the very least, we would advise drivers using these kits to avoid any lengthy conversations and only use the device where absolutely necessary."

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) say a mobile phone makes you four times more likely to crash.

It also says distracted driving could be a factor in as many 20-30% of all collisions in this country.

This means that driver distraction could be a contributory factor in over 1,400 fatal and injury collisions annually.