Nearly two thirds of new South African drivers admit to texting, e-mailing and using messaging services on their mobile phones when behind the wheel of a car according to a new survey.
Conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Goodyear, the survey questioned 64,000 young and novice drivers across Europe and South Africa, according to AFP/Relaxnews.
The poll found that newly qualified drivers in South Africa, at 65%, were the worst culprits for texting, e-mailing and using messaging services, followed by Turkey (56%), and Swedish respondents (55%). Conversely, at only 14% of respondents, UK drivers were the least likely to break this law.
Overall, the survey found that 44% of respondents said they talk on the phone without using hands-free technology while driving. Sweden and Russia proved to have the most offenders, at 70%, while South Africa ranked third, with 61%, and Turkish drivers came fourth (60%).
Again, drivers in the UK (15%) were least likely to use their phones, followed by Spain (26%) and drivers in Holland (27%).
Dr. Alex W Stedmon, a researcher in Human Factors at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “The distraction caused by carrying out multiple tasks while driving is known by experts as ‘inattention blindness.’
“Typically what happens is that a driver’s cognitive abilities are compromised by the amount of processing required to conduct multiple tasks. This can occur to such an extent that they then fail to observe events around them or react in normal time. The danger with this is that we are often totally unaware of the impact of attempting multiple tasks until we have a clear lapse of concentration.”