A new study has revealed some shocking insights into young drivers’ attitudes towards distracted driving.
Melbourne, Victoria – August 11, 2014 – A new survey from online driver’s education website, www.aussie-driver.com has revealed young drivers (aged 18-25) are still not getting the message regarding the dangers of distracted driving.
Statistically, young drivers aged between 18 and 25 years make up close to a quarter of all driver deaths, despite accounting for slightly more than 10 percent of all licence holders. Distracted driving has always been a big killer on Australian roads. Now with the rise of technology such as mp3 players and smart phones, more deadly distractions exist than ever.
Unfortunately, in a survey by www.aussie-driver.com ‘Inside the Minds of Teenage Drivers’, not one respondent aged between 18-24 rated being distracted (mobile phone use, eating, smoking) as one of the most dangerous things to do while driving.
Sadly, it seems parents aren’t setting a good example regarding risky driving behaviour. When asked ‘What is the most dangerous thing you see your parents do while driving?’ a quarter of survey respondents aged 18-24 said ‘Using a cell phone’.
Recent campaigns in Australia have largely focused on spreading awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and texting while driving. The survey results do show that teen drivers are now more aware of these dangers, with 50 percent of respondents aged between 18-25 answering ‘Drinking and Driving’ as the most dangerous thing to do while driving.
However, the same couldn’t be said for older drivers. Not one respondent aged 55-64 rated ‘Drinking and Driving’ as the most dangerous thing to do while driving.
Research suggests that parents play a huge role in a new driver’s safety. Parental role modelling has also been identified as being important in developing safe behaviours among young people.
Aussie-driver.com founder, Andrei Zakhareuski said teenagers generally understand the dangers and responsibilities of driving, but seem to lack an awareness of how even minor distractions can increase their risk of being involved in a fatal crash.
“Campaigns on driving safety should expand beyond drunk driving and texting while driving so that not only teens, but instructors, families and communities alike are more aware of all forms of distracted driving,” he said.
In an effort to curb the devastating distracted driving trend, Aussie-Driver has created a ‘Stop Distracted Driving’ pledge and is calling on Australian families to show their support by signing up. The pledge and other great resources for new drivers can be downloaded from the Aussie-Driver website: http://aussie-driver.com/stop-distracted-driving-pledge/
For more information: Please contact Penny Smits on 0424 702 271 or email [email protected]
Objectives and Data Analysis
The study was an online multiple choice survey that was completed by 100 participants. At least 50 percent of respondents were between the ages of 18 - 25. The survey set out to answer the following questions:
- Are campaigns against drunk driving and texting while driving working?
When asked what is the most dangerous thing to do while driving:
- 50% chose drinking and driving.
- 30% chose falling asleep.
- 20% chose aggressive driving and speeding.
- There were no responses to using a mobile phone and being distracted, even though they are statistically one of the main causes of teen road accidents.
- Do male drivers aged 18-25 have different concerns about driving compared to 18-25 aged females?
When asked about their biggest fear in driving, 66.7% of males chose being in an accident, while 31.3% of females chose having the right driving skills.
When asked about what they are nervous about the most when learning how to drive, 50% chose failing the test, with an overwhelming 75% of males and 35.7% females. There is a significant gender difference in these findings, with females expressing concerns about hurting other drivers or other people on the road, while these are not at all legitimate concerns for males.
- Older, more experienced drivers are frightened of other drivers on the roads.
Voters aged 55+ rated other drivers on the roads as their biggest fear about driving.
- Parental influence.
When asked to choose the most dangerous thing respondents have seen their parents do while driving:
- 37.5% chose “dangerous driving habits” such as not wearing a seatbelt.
- 25% chose using a cell phone.
- 18.8% chose aggressive driving and speeding.
Key Takeaways and Conclusions
- Distractions - both inside and outside the vehicle - take teens' focus off the road but not all distractions receive equal attention in the media. Efforts must be taken to spread awareness of how even minor distractions such as eating or smoking can also lead to fatal crashes.
- Parents should lead by example by wearing a seatbelt, putting away the cell phone and focusing their attention on the road when driving, particularly since teens generally do not recognize the use of the cell phone as a cause of dangerous driving.
- It is important to talk to teens about responsible driving, emphasising not only the dangers of drunk driving but also the risks of distracted driving.
Aussie-driver.com is a leading education website that lets users practice for their Driver Knowledge Test for free as many times as they like.
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