Whether between the handlebars of a moped or behind the wheel, one in every two 15-19 year old Finns admits to tapping away at their mobile while driving, according to a survey commissioned by the Traffic Safety Authority.
Many youth are sending and reading messages, replying to web messages and talking on the phone without a hands-free device while behind the wheel of a car, or whilst zipping around in traffic on a moped or motorbike. Talking on a mobile phone using a hands-free device is less common that texting while driving, according to the survey.
The research was targeted at 15-19 year olds.
About half admitted to reading messages while driving and fifty percent of girls and young women surveyed said they also sent SMS or instant messages while driving.
Driven to distraction
The Road Traffic Act forbids the use of a communication device while driving if it interferes with the operation of the vehicle or the following of traffic. Among other things, talking on a mobile phone without a hands-free device is prohibited.
According to the Traffic Safety Authority, the use of mobile phones when driving has increased among Finnish youth. The organization commissioned a similar survey two years ago in which every fifth respondent said they read text messages while driving, while only one in ten admitted to sending them when behind the wheel.
This year’s survey was conducted by TNS Gallup and involved interviews with 749 young people between January and February.