A survey of 3000 drivers found using mobile phones was the most common risky behaviour. Picture: Waynerd
A survey of 3000 drivers found using mobile phones was the most common risky behaviour. Picture: Waynerd

Lawyer reveals worst cause of crash devastation

LAWYER Sebastian Rogalski sees the devastating consequences of driver distraction almost daily, and pleads with Sunshine Coast residents to pay attention this Queensland Road Safety Week and beyond.

Mr Rogalski is assisting Eumundi cyclist David Welch with an insurance claim after he was hit by a four-wheel-drive in June this year.

The Maurice Blackburn lawyer said of the 129 people who had died on Queensland roads in 2019, two were cyclists.

READ: 'I thought I'd die': Cyclist run down in crash

Mr Rogalski said one road death was too many, and those who survived often suffered temporary loss of income, lifelong commercial unemployability and added stress in their home lives.

"Everyone deserves to come home safely at the end of the day," he said.

"There are many vulnerable people on the road in Queensland due to distracted drivers.

"In 2017, driver distraction and inattention contributed to 37 deaths and 1124 hospitalised casualties in Queensland.

"The number of deaths has increased 460 per cent since 2012 (eight deaths)."

A 2018 Queensland Government survey of 3000 drivers found mobile phone use was the most common risky behaviour on the state's roads with 48 per cent of drivers admitting they had texted at traffic, and 22 per cent had texted while driving.

The survey found 46 per cent of drivers checked email, social media and internet at traffic lights, and 42 per cent do so while driving.

Should there be higher penalties for motorists who use their phone while driving?

This poll ended on 26 September 2019.

Current Results

Definitely

75%

No, it's high enough

24%

Not sure

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Queensland Government data stated texting quadruples a driver's chance of a crash.

Mr Rogalski said the pressure to keep in touch with certain people and boredom contributed to the high percentage of mobile phone use behind the wheel.

Mr Rogalski said Queensland had an excellent compulsory third party insurance scheme which helped people like Mr Welch receive much-needed assistance.

Road Safety Week runs from August 26-30, with resources and information available at sreetsmarts.initiatives.qld.gov.au.