Risking status updates while at the wheel

16 September 2013

SGIO is calling for WA drivers to focus on the road while driving, with almost one in five (18 per cent) still using their mobile phone while at the wheel*.

The survey of 470 WA drivers also revealed that:

  • 88 per cent are texting and reading emails
  • 58 per cent are updating their Facebook status or tweeting
  • 23 per cent are posting photos on Instagram
  • 50 per cent are playing games
  • 82 per cent are taking photos

SGIO spokesperson Tracy Woodley said the results are concerning as drivers are still ignoring safety warnings.

“All too often we see drivers running the risk and talking on their mobile phone or glancing down to write or read a text message, putting their lives, other drivers and pedestrians at risk."

“The increasing appetite for social media distraction is demonstrated by almost 60 per cent of drivers admitting to using Facebook or tweeting while driving, and with the growth of sharing pictures, 82 per cent are taking photos, up from 36 per cent last year."

“We understand everyone leads busy lives and social media is handy to stay connected with friends and family, however drivers shouldn’t risk the worst happening for the sake of a status update, tweet or photo post."

“If drivers need to make a call, send a text or connect with their friends and loved ones online, we suggest they pull over in a safe place before using their phone,” said Ms Woodley.

Ms Woodley added losing focus while behind the wheel, even if it’s only for a split second, may cause a driver to have a collision and endanger the lives of others on the road.

Media contact:
Mariana Cidade
02 9292 9742

Note to Editor**:

In West Australia it is illegal to use a hand held telephone (which includes writing or sending SMS messages) when driving or stationary but not parked.

* Based on a survey of 470 WA drivers by Pure Profile Research in August 2013

** www.police.wa.gov.au

Media hotline number: 02 9292 9742