Concern over phone-related car accidents in Queensland

Queensland police are concerned about the growing number of road accidents caused by drivers using their mobile phones.

Officers are now getting in touch with telecoms carriers after accidents as a matter of course, to establish whether drivers were using their devices when collisions occurred.

Worryingly, police have told the Courier Mail that they often arrive at the scene of an accident to find evidence that someone has been on the phone at the wheel.

Speaking to the newspaper, State Traffic Support Branch acting Superintendent Ray Rohweder explained: "Police will come across people who are deceased who have clearly been speaking on their phone.

"As a matter of course now at serious traffic incidents we do checks with communications carriers to see whether a person was using their phone at the time of the crash and, a lot of the time, that's unfortunately the case."

Even in non-fatal accidents, there are consequences for drivers who use their phone at the wheel. A crash will prove detrimental to the cost of a motorist's car insurance coverage, and they may face a court summons or fine for dangerous driving.

Drivers who are caught using a mobile phone at the wheel can be prosecuted under the Road Use Management Road Rules.

However, any motorists aged under 25 years old face more stringent regulation.  They cannot use a mobile phone at all while driving, either hands-free, via bluetooth or on loudspeaker.

This includes having a passenger use a phone in a vehicle that is on loudspeaker.

While police figures indicate that a third of Queensland car accidents involve a driver distraction such as text messaging or phone calls, the same does not to be the case nationally.

Mobile phone-related accidents do not even figure in the top five most common crashes involving Aussie drivers.

According to the car insurer, nose-to-tail collisions (28.1 per cent), failure to give way (20.2 per cent) and parked car dings (19.9 per cent) are the three most common accidents across the country.

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