WA motorists still risking accidents by texting and driving

WA drivers are still being distracted by mobile phones behind the wheel, with nearly half texting while driving.

An RAC survey of more than 600 drivers has found 47 per cent of WA drivers have read, responded to or begun a conversation by text behind the wheel.

More than 80 per cent of motorists surveyed also admitted to using their phone while behind the wheel, with those aged between 17 and 39 three times more likely to use their phones while travelling at 70km an hour.

The survey also revealed nearly 60 per cent of motorists have never tried using a strategy to stop themselves using their phone while driving.

However, those surveyed acknowledged the dangers of using a phone while driving, with 95 per cent describing it as being “very” or “extremely” risky.”

The RAC said it was concerning that the risks were acknowledged but behaviours had not changed.

“Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road trauma and its clear far too many motorists are paying attention to their phones instead of the road ahead,” RAC General Manager of Corporate Affairs Will Golsby said.

“It takes an average of five seconds to read a text message but just a split second for a life to be changed forever.”

“You are in control of what you are doing behind the wheel, but not always in control of the consequences.”

Mr Golsby said it was important that drivers try putting their phone out of reach, switching it off completely or activating do-not-disturb mode.

“There’s no text message, phone call or email so urgent it’s worth killing or seriously injuring yourself to someone else,” he said.

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