Social media and technology ‘a bigger threat than drink driving': IAM

Social media and technology 'a bigger threat than drink driving': IAM 6th November 2015

Modern technology has a lot of plus points when linked with how we drive and manage our journeys, from social media updates that tell us about any hold ups on the roads to sat navs that make sure we're headed in the right direction. But could technology also be making drivers unsafe? 

According to the charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), this may well be the case, as it said that technology and social media use behind the wheel is a bigger perceived threat to driver safety than drink driving. 

It carried out a survey into the biggest worries that drivers have on the roads at the moment and found that the rise in technology has also brought about extra concerns about how its use can affect people's driving. 

Responses from the 2,000 drivers who were surveyed by the organisation found that 77 per cent of people feel that the increased saturation of technology has made it a bigger risk on the road than it was three years ago. 

This is compared to just 23 per cent of people who think that drink driving is now a bigger problem than it was three years ago. 

When IAM looked deeper at the issues people see on the road the moment, it found that the biggest worries drivers have centre around text messaging and social media, with 93 per cent and 92 per cent respectively naming these as a serious threat to safety. 

Drink and drug driving were behind both of these modern problems, with 90 per cent and 80 per cent respectively saying that these offences present a serious threat to safety. 

The charity said that the report is an important tool for making the roads a safer place, as "it highlights the key areas of road safety and police enforcement priority that will command the highest levels of public support".

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “This report is a crucial barometer of what drivers are really thinking. It is all about seeing what issues and factors the public see as important in their lives, and using that information to influence their behaviour. 

“Understanding the issues drivers see as important when it comes to road safety is essential for establishing how best to communicate with them and so in turn to achieve behaviour change, on both a local and national level."

Posted by Danielle Barge