New road fatalities statistics show that up to one third of car crashes in Queensland are caused by drivers using mobile phones.
As reported by the Courier Mail, Queensland Police have revealed the figures, claiming that more road fatalities are caused by mobile phone distractions than the other commonly known road threats; speeding, alcohol and fatigue.
Police are gathering the information by contacting telcos after an accident to check whether the driver was using their phone at the time of a major road incident. Senior police officials are now campaigning the Queensland Government to include driver inattention in public safety advertising materials.
In all Australian states, drivers caught using a phone without connecting it to a hands-free device will have three demerit-points deducted from their license, plus be issued with a fine. All phone use is included, including taking photos or having a phone on speaker resting in your lap. It also includes use of a phone when the vehicle is stationary, but not parked, like at traffic lights. P-plate drivers are not allowed to use phones at all, including hands-free devices.
How do you deal with phone use in the car? I have a rule that I never answer calls or messages while driving, except in emergencies, when I pull over before calling back. Do you use a hands-free device? If so, let us know which one and why in the comments below.