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How do Victoria’s young drivers measure up?


Young Victorian drivers have been put under the spotlight in an independent study commissioned by Shine Lawyers.

Drivers aged between 18 and 34 have revealed some of their driving habits and some are concerning.

Stimulants used widely while driving

The study found that Victorian drivers are on par with the national average of 31% when it comes to relying on energy drinks, No Doz or prescription pharmaceuticals to help them stay awake behind the wheel.

In particular, males aged between 25 and 34 are most likely to use these substances. Energy drinks are the most popular choice of stimulant. Nationally, 5% of young males between 18 and 24 admitted to relying on prescription pharmaceuticals to stay alert and awake.

Mobile phone use also an issue

However, this isn’t the only concerning behaviour. Despite this behaviour being illegal and heavy campaigning, 34% of young Victorian drivers still use their mobile phones while driving, without Bluetooth or hands free. This is still below the national average. These drivers generally use their mobiles to take or make calls, manage their GPS, respond to their texts or manage their music.

With our mobiles accessing more and more, 21% of young Victorians check their social media accounts behind the wheel and take photos or videos.

The dangers of this were made clear by the CEO of the Road Trauma Support Services Victoria, Cameron Sinclair.

“Each time you check your text, or social media, or make a call, are moments when your eyes and attention are diverted away from our roads and the complex task of driving. In these moment, the risk of crashes is heightened and with it, you and your loved ones risk suffering irreversible trauma. Taking your eyes off the road to check your phone, even if only for a second, just isn’t worth it.”

Victorian Safety Strategy

Towards Zero 2016-2020 is the Victorian Governments safety strategy and plan. This is the most ambitious action plan in Victoria’s history. The plan aims to work towards a 20% reduction in deaths and 15% reduction in serious injuries in five years. They aim to do this by:
  • Investing in safer rural roads
  • Engaging with the community to improve safety
  • Investment in police resources to combat high-risk behaviours
  • New measures to make sure vehicles are safer
Check out the plan here - https://www.towardszero.vic.gov.au/what-is-towards-zero/road-safety-action-plan.

Written by Shine Lawyers on July 9, 2016. Last modified: September 6, 2018.

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