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Deadly Distraction: Young Drivers Not Getting the Message

A new study has revealed some shocking insights into young drivers’ attitudes towards distracted driving.
Melbourne, Victoria – August 13, 2014 – A new survey from online driver’s education website,
www.aussie-driver.com has revealed young drivers (aged 18-25) are still not getting the message
regarding the dangers of distracted driving.
Statistically, young drivers aged between 18 and 25 years make up close to a quarter of all driver
deaths, despite accounting for slightly more than 10 percent of all licence holders. Distracted driving
has always been a big killer on Australian roads. Now with the rise of technology such as mp3 players
and smart phones, more deadly distractions exist than ever.
Unfortunately, in a survey by www.aussie-driver.com ‘Inside the Minds of Teenage Drivers’, not one
respondent aged between 18-24 rated being distracted (mobile phone use, eating, smoking) as one
of the most dangerous things to do while driving.
Sadly, it seems parents aren’t setting a good example regarding risky driving behaviour. When asked
‘What is the most dangerous thing you see your parents do while driving?’ a quarter of survey
respondents aged 18-24 said ‘Using a cell phone’.
Recent campaigns in Australia have largely focused on spreading awareness about the dangers of
drunk driving and texting while driving. The survey results do show that teen drivers are now more
aware of these dangers, with 50 percent of respondents aged between 18-25 answering ‘Drinking and
Driving’ as the most dangerous thing to do while driving.
However, the same couldn’t be said for older drivers. Not one respondent aged 55-64 rated
‘Drinking and Driving’ as the most dangerous thing to do while driving.
Research suggests that parents play a huge role in a new driver’s safety. Parental role modelling has
also been identified as being important in developing safe behaviours among young people.
Aussie-driver.com founder, Andrei Zakhareuski said teenagers generally understand the dangers and
responsibilities of driving, but seem to lack an awareness of how even minor distractions can
increase their risk of being involved in a fatal crash.
“Campaigns on driving safety should expand beyond drunk driving and texting while driving so that
not only teens, but instructors, families and communities alike are more aware of all forms of
distracted driving,” he said.
In an effort to curb the devastating distracted driving trend, Aussie-Driver has created a ‘Stop
Distracted Driving’ pledge and is calling on Australian families to show their support by signing up.
The pledge and other great resources for new drivers can be downloaded from the Aussie-Driver
website: http://aussie-driver.com/stop-distracted-driving-pledge/