August 23, 2012, 8:38 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- With over 40 per cent of NSW drivers using their mobile phone while at the wheel, NRMA Insurance is calling for drivers to focus on the road to avoid being at higher risk of a collision*.
Recent NRMA Insurance research shows drivers are continuing to take risks by using their mobile phone while driving, with:
88 per cent making phone calls;
68 per cent texting and reading emails;
40 per cent using applications - e.g. checking the weather forecast, news headlines;
38 per cent taking photos; and
25 per cent updating their status or tweeting.
NRMA Car Insurance spokesperson Adele Buhagiar said the results were concerning, as they showed drivers were still putting themselves at increased risk of a collision, despite the safety warnings.
"The research shows that our appetite for technology extends to while we are driving, with one in four admitting that they are updating their status or tweeting while at the wheel. This is up from one in ten last year.
"We were surprised to see that people are even risking taking photos while driving. Losing focus while behind the wheel, even if it is only for a split second, may cause the worst to happen," said Ms Buhagiar.
It is illegal to drive a vehicle while using a hand-held mobile phone in NSW, with the penalty a significant fine and three demerit points**.
Ms Buhagiar added "We urge all NSW drivers to be alert on the roads and if you need to make a call or send a message, we suggest you pull over in a safe place before using the phone."
* Based on a survey of 415 NSW drivers by Pure Profile Research in January 2012.
NRMA Insurance offers a range of products including comprehensive motor insurance, home and contents insurance, CTP, home security, lifestyle and leisure insurance and business insurance. NRMA Insurance manage the insurance needs of millions of customers throughout Australia.