Distractions

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and 3 demerit points for getting caught using your mobile phone whilst driving.

of all road crash deaths & serious injuries in WA between 2005 and 2007 were a result of distractions.

The State Government’s Driver Distraction Education Campaign aims to build awareness of the significant danger of being distracted whilst driving – particularly through use of a mobile phone device. A most concerning insight is that despite 90% of WA drivers acknowledging the danger of texting while driving, 57%, still irregularly or regularly offend. This campaign talks to this audience.

Penalties

Please visit the road rules and penalties section for information on mobile phones laws.

Using Mobile Phones While Driving

The safest option is to turn your mobile phone off while driving.

Collectively, a number of studies have shown that using a mobile phone while driving can:

  • Impair your ability to maintain the correct lane position.
  • Impair your ability to maintain an appropriate and predictable speed.
  • Result in longer reaction times to detect and respond to unexpected events.
  • Result in missing traffic signals.
  • Reduce the functional visual field of view, which in turn, has been shown to be associated with an increase in crash involvement.
  • Result in shorter following distances to vehicles in front.
  • Result in accepting gaps in traffic streams that are not large enough.
  • Increase your mental workload, resulting in higher levels of stress and frustration.
  • Encourage you to look straight ahead rather than scanning around the road ahead.
  • Reduce your awareness of what is happening around you in time and space.

As a result of these impacts on driving performance, the use of a mobile phone while driving increases the risk of being involved in a crash by up to 4 times.
 

Avoid Distraction

Do you get easily distracted? Here are some tips to help you change your ways and become a safer driver:

  • Turn off your mobile phone when driving (even if it is a hands-free mobile phone).
  • Adjust all vehicle controls (including the radio/CD player) before setting off.
  • Turn off your MP3 player when driving.
  • Take a break rather than eat, drink, smoke or groom yourself while driving.
  • Don’t know the route? Either you or your passenger can check a map before starting the journey to know what lies ahead.
  • Ask passengers to be quiet if you are having difficulty concentrating while driving.
  • Ensure pets are properly restrained in the vehicle (e.g. using a secured carrier box or pet seat belt system).
  • Recognise what makes you distracted and either avoid engaging in that activity when driving, or find a safe place to pull over and do it.
  • Make sure the vehicle’s windscreens and mirrors are clean and unobstructed.