RAC has launched a road safety campaign focussed on distracted driving, after new research revealed 80 percent of motorists are using their phone behind the wheel.
The new research found 4 in 5 Western Australians used their phone while driving, despite 9 in 10 labelling the act as risky.
Last year, 28 people were killed in inattention-related crashes, a 112% increase on the previous five-year average.
The findings have prompted RAC to take action with a new road safety initiative titled, ‘Look Up’, the centrepiece of which is a spoken word video part-narrated by Gary Turk, an award-winning writer best known for his own ‘Look Up’ video launched in 2014 and viewed more than 61 million times.
RAC Executive General Manager Advocacy and Members, Patrick Walker, said the campaign was prompted by the growth of distracted driving to epidemic levels.
“Distracted driving is fast becoming one of the leading causes of deaths and serious injuries on our roads and as technology evolves so too does the level of distraction in our cars,” Mr Walker said.
“There is a myth this type of distraction is only a problem among younger drivers, however the issue affects all ages and is one of the most complex and devastating road safety challenges we currently face.
“Instead of letting our devices control us, we need to look up when we’re driving and focus on what’s most important, the safety of ourselves and those around us.”
Gary Turk said he was thrilled to be partnering with RAC to take the message of Look Up into a new road safety dimension.
“The message behind Look Up is a simple one, that real human connection and a strong sense of our surroundings is far more valuable than gazing at our smartphones,” Mr Turk said.
“The spoken word is an engaging and effective way to start a conversation and a memorable way to get people thinking about a subject like distraction.”
The campaign was created by J. Walter Thompson Perth.
Simon Langley ECD J. Walter Thompson said: “This is an important road safety campaign and another demonstration of the RAC’s commitment to making WA a better place. The fact that we were able to get the support and involvement of Gary, a guy who’s had countless brands approach him to endorse their message, but has politely refused each request, is a real coup.”