A recent survey by the RAC shows that the number of motorists driving a car when using a smartphone or being under the influence of drugs has gone up substantially.
In the past year those in the age bracket 17 to 24 who have driven having taken drugs has gone up from 5% to 9%.
The RAC believe a possible reason for this increase is the lack of investment in campaigns to do with road safety.
Apparently, spending in this important area came down from £18.6m in 2009/10 to a mere £2.34m in 2010/11 according to information obtained by the Sun.
The RAC study also provided a number of other statistics such as the fact that only 22% of drivers responding to the survey felt safe on roads, 44% felt less safe than ever and 61% were of the opinion that unfortunately there were not enough road traffic police officers on our roads to deter, prevent and deal with drivers who break the law.
David Bizley of the RAC stated: “For many people in their 20s and 30s it’s become all too natural to use a phone behind the wheel, despite the risks. We’re so used to using our mobiles as and when we want to that it’s easy to forget how distracting they can be on the road.
“At 70mph, checking your texts or Facebook for three seconds means you can travel nearly 100 metres without looking.
“The problem with drug-driving is that it’s much harder to check for than drink-driving. The tests for it are basic compared to the breathalyser, although things are improving.
“Drink-driving is less of a problem now because of years of campaigns which show the dangers of it. It’s become a taboo but the same hasn’t happened yet for drug-driving, which is why some young drivers still see it as okay to do.”
So many people now use the likes of Facebook and Twitter from their phones or even browse the Internet that it would appear further investment needs to be made in road safety awareness. To only spend just over £2m on this important area is very short sighted when you consider the estimated cost of the rescue services having to deal with just one fatal car accident on our road network.