Half of motorists using phones while driving daily

It will come as no surprise that almost half of Irish motorists encounter drivers using their mobile phone while behind the wheel on a daily basis, according to recent research from AA Ireland.

In response to an AA survey of some 3,000 motorists, 46.52 per cent of those surveyed stated they encountered other motorists using a phone or hand-held device while behind the wheel on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, a further 27.72 per cent of those surveyed stated they encountered other road users using their phone while driving on a "very regular"basis, with 11.74 per cent spotting the habit on a "somewhat regular" basis.

Currently using a phone or hand-held device while driving can result in a fine of €60 and two penalty points, rising to a fine of up to €2,000 and four penalty points in the event of a court conviction.

While road safety legislation allows for the use of hands-free kits while driving, the AA is warning motorists that any usage of a phone while driving can affect concentration.

“While it is legal to take a call using a hands-free device while driving, even this will distract you and make it harder for you to keep your concentration on the task at hand,” said the AA’s Conor Faughnan.

“Even if you have a hands-free kit in your car engaging in any conversation increases your risk of being involved in some kind of incident and, at the very least, we would advise drivers using these kits to avoid any lengthy conversations and only use the device where absolutely necessary.”

According to the survey just 5.20 per cent of those surveyed have never encountered another driving using their phone behind the wheel.

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