28 Aug 2018

Qld Road Safety Week - Driver Distraction

Taking your eyes off the road while driving for just a few seconds can create devastating consequences... Queensland Road Safety Week focuses on refreshing your knowledge towards the "Fatal Five" issues that are faced by all road users.

Driver Distraction 

On average 25 people are killed and 1235 seriously injured each year on Queensland road as a result of drivers who were disracted.1

Driving is a task that requires your full attention and the unexpected can happen at any time, so the smallest distraction can be deadly!  Driver distraction can cause: 

  • riskier decision making
  • slower reactions
  • slower, less controlled braking
  • not being alert to surroundings

Let’s put it into perspective

Even when your eyes are off the road for just two seconds, a vehicle moving at 60 km/h travels more than 33-metres. The average person’s time to react to an event is 1.8 seconds. This means nearly four seconds can pass before the average distracted driver can react to a hazard, increasing their risk of a serious crash. The table below shows the distance a vehicle would travel in two seconds by a driver at the stated speeds.

Travel Speed

Distraction Distance

Distance Travelled

40 km/h

2 seconds

22.2 metres

50 km/h

2 seconds

27.8 metres

60 km/h

2 seconds

33.3 metres

80 km/h

2 seconds

44.4 metres

100 km/h

2 seconds

55.6 metres

What are the facts… 

  • 70% of Queenslanders use their mobile phone illegally in the car 2
  • texting is the most common behaviour, with 48% of drivers admitting to texting at traffic and 22% of drivers saying they text while driving 2
  • 46% of drivers check email, social media and the internet at traffic lights, and 42% do so while driving 2

Let’s Stay Focused! 

  • Switch your phone to silent or flight mode as soon as you get behind the wheel. 
  • Let everyone know you’re driving ‘phone‑free’ and remove pressure to be in contact.
  • Phone home before you leave work and check if you need to pick something up on the way home. 
  • If you’re driving with passengers, designate a ‘texter’ so you can concentrate on driving. 
  • Pull over and park safely before picking up your phone.

1. Data Analysis, Department of Transport and Main Roads QLD. Fatality data extracted. 27 June 2018 using road casualty statistics 2013-2017.
2. Footprints Market Research. (2018). ‘Understanding Risky Driving Behaviour’. Research undertaken for the Department of Transport and Main Roads and BCM Partnership, Brisbane.