AN alarming number of young drivers have admitted to speeding, with more than 10% of respondents in RACQ’s Young Drivers Survey saying they exceed the speed limit regularly.
The Club’s annual survey quizzed motorists aged 16 – 24 and found around three quarters admitted to speeding and driving while tired.
RACQ’s Head of Public Policy, Dr Michael Kane, said the research showed poor driver behaviour is starting at a young age.
“As we mark National Road Safety Week, we need these young people to re-set their attitude towards driving. The road rules should be fresh in their minds, yet so many of them are blatantly ignoring the law and risking the lives of all road users,” Dr Kane said.
“Last year, 297 people lost their lives on Queensland roads and the Fatal 5 contributed to the majority of those deaths – that’s speeding, driving fatigued, drink and drug driving, distracted driving and not wearing a seatbelt.
“Young people are overrepresented in the road toll. From January 1 to the end of October 2022, 58 people aged between 16 to 24 were killed, making up almost a quarter of the deaths on our roads.”
The Young Drivers Survey also found respondents considered mobile phones and GPS devices the biggest cause of distraction behind the wheel, yet there has been a significant decrease in the proportion of young drivers using their phones while driving.
“In 2021, 16% of respondents admitted to texting while driving and checking their phone when stopped at traffic lights,” Dr Kane said.
“It’s good to see this kind of behaviour has significantly decreased but there’s still room for improvement, with more than 9% of young drivers still admitting to checking their phones behind the wheel.
“We need to get back to basics and change the mindset of reckless motorists to ensure they take safety seriously every time they get behind the wheel; if not for themselves, for their loved ones and other road users.”
The survey also found parents continue to be a big influence on driver behaviour.