Study shows shocking number of young drivers distracted
17-25 year olds are using mobiles, eating lunch and applying beauty products, research reveals
It is unlikely that professional drivers go a day without seeing some kind of distracted driving. Whether this is drivers on their mobile phones, applying beauty products or eating their lunch, millions of motorists do things they shouldn’t on the roads.
Goodyear Tyres recently researched behaviours of drivers aged between 17 and 25 – specifically, what distracted them the most. These drivers are the motorists of the future: they will teach the next generation. The results of the research makes this a worrying thought.
Goodyear found that:
● 23% of young drivers aged 17-25 have had an accident or near-miss in the past 12 months.
● 18% had driven through a red light due to being distracted.
● 42% have used a mobile phone at the wheel.
● One in ten log-in to social networks like Facebook whilst driving.
The research, undertaken by Goodyear Tyres as part of its Young Driver programme, spoke to 1,000 young drivers.
As well as finding that nearly one in five young drivers had driven through a red light due to being distracted, with men more likely to do so than women (23% to 17%), mobile phone usage was also still prominent. Of the 42% of young drivers who said they had used their mobile phone illegally while driving in the past year, 29% admitted to calling or answering the phone, 28% said they had sent a text to a friend while behind the wheel and one in ten admitted to logging into social networks (the majority being male drivers at 58%). 45% of the latter had searched newsfeeds or updated their status on Facebook, while 32% had used SnapChat to interact with friends. 23% of young drivers said the risk of being prosecuted did not affect their mobile phone use.
The study went on to find that the increase in music download sites has also played a part in increasing rates of distraction. More than a quarter (27%) admitted to using sites like Spotify or Deezer while driving – nearly half (49%) of these users aged 17-19.
Personal grooming was also distracting young drivers. More than one in ten (13%) admitted to regularly applying make-up or skin products behind the wheel, while 11% have styled or brushed their hair.
“The worrying statistic is that over a quarter (28%) of those young drivers who had a near miss or accident didn’t tell their parents about the incident,” says Kate Rock of Goodyear Tyres. “This increased to one in three of drivers aged 17-19 years old who keep the collision a secret.
“A major study by TRL in 2008 reported that one in five young drivers are likely to have an accident in the first six months of driving, so it’s imperative that more education is provided to make young drivers aware of the dangers of distractions, so that safe driving becomes second nature.”
As a result of the findings, Goodyear has launched a virtual reality app in partnership with the Driving Instructors Association (DIA): the Goodyear Driving Academy app, which is
found at: drivingacademy.goodyear.co.uk Carly Brookfield, CEO of the DIA, says: “Teaching new drivers how important it is to keep concentration whilst behind the wheel is one of the most important things our instructors do. It’s crucial this issue remains a talking point when it comes to improving road safety for young drivers.”