AAMI Begins Research Into Distracted Driving Photo:

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Tony O'Kane | Apr, 28 2014 | 0 Comments

Insurer AAMI has announced that it will commence research into how to stigmatise mobile phone use among drivers to help reduce the frequency of accidents caused by distracted driving.

A recent survey conducted by the insurer found that more than half of drivers aged 18-24 had sent or read a message while driving, while 12 percent had updated their Facebook status while behind the wheel.

“AAMI’s Crash Index research is showing some terrifying behaviours are on the rise,” said AAMI spokesperson Reuben Aitchison.

“More than half of young Aussie drivers have sent or read a text message while driving and more than a quarter have read emails or surfed the Internet while driving."

And with new social media platforms offering more ways for drivers to become distracted, Aitchison said the response needed to involve more than just law enforcement.

“The latest trend, with the emergence of short video platforms like Vines, is young drivers taking short videos and uploading them while driving," he said.

“The Police are working hard to try and curb this behavior and have undertaken campaigns to enforce the laws around using mobiles while driving, catching tens of thousands of drivers in the act, but it is not always easy.

“A multifaceted response to this issue is required to support the Police’s enforcement and community awareness efforts.

“AAMI believes the key to combat the issue of distracted driving among younger drivers is creating a social stigma around it, much like we have with drunk drivers.

"When texting and driving becomes socially unacceptable and uncool, we will start to see a change in behavior within this age group."

AAMI's announcement comes just weeks after a 21 year-old Victorian driver was convicted of dangerous driving, having run into and critically injured a cyclist near Kororoit in September last year.

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