Their playful approach tackles a serious problem. The Transport Accident Commission, which is promoting the #DNDWhileDriving app, found that a third of 1742 drivers surveyed admit to illegally using their smart phones while driving.
TAC engagement senior manager Megan Jacobs says using comedians helps connect with a wider audience while offering a practical way to avoid distractions.
“Mobile phone distraction is a major factor in road trauma so it’s crucial that we take a variety of approaches to highlight the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving,” she says.
The TAC also rewards drivers who turn on the app at public events with a doughnut in its ‘Donut Disturb While Driving’ campaign.
It’s part of an overall campaign to reduce driver distraction. Research shows that if you take your eyes off the road for two seconds when travelling at 60kmh you will travel 33 metres ‘blind’, while at 100kmh the distance travelled ‘blind’ is 55 metres.
“So far, 2019 has been a tragic year on our roads and we know that mobile phone distraction is a major factor causing death and injuries,” Megan says.
“Addressing road safety issues requires a comprehensive approach, but we want to show Victorians that there are simple things we can do right now to help make our roads safer.”
RACV’s manager of safety and education, Melinda Spiteri, says using mobile phones for calls, texts or other functions are a major factor in driver distraction.
“Driver distraction is a growing factor in road crashes, and while it’s estimated to play a part in around 16 per cent of serious crashes, this figure is most likely underestimated,” she says.
RACV encourages drivers to install and use apps that block or limit certain functions on their phones, allowing them to concentrate on the road while driving.
“Our research supports the idea that a voluntary app such as Do Not Disturb While Driving can effectively reduce exposure to mobile phone-distracted driving activities if used properly and continuously,” she says.