Officer-in-charge at Kingaroy Police Station, Sergeant David Tierney, said ending the deadly obsession with checking our mobile phones while behind the wheel could be as simple as locking our phones in the glovebox.
Officer-in-charge at Kingaroy Police Station, Sergeant David Tierney, said ending the deadly obsession with checking our mobile phones while behind the wheel could be as simple as locking our phones in the glovebox. Madeline Grace

Why are we risking lives on the road to check our phones?

ACCORDING to officer-in-charge at Kingaroy Police Station, Sergeant David Tierney, checking your phone while driving shows a blatant disrespect for your own life as well as everyone else in your car, and on the road.

Sgt Tierney said ending this deadly obsession with checking our mobile phones while behind the wheel could be as simple as locking our phones in the glovebox.

"I'm guilty of it too,” he said.

"I've checked my phone while driving before and found myself veering off the road slightly.

"But now I make the conscious decision to lock my phone in the car's glovebox before I put it in drive. This way there is no temptation and I have to pull the car over to check my phone.”

Sgt Tierney said using your phone while driving was comparable to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 per cent.

"Studies have shown that you're always distracted while using your phone and the two seconds you spend looking at your phone can double your chance of having a crash,” he said.

"Over 16 per cent of serious crashes in Australia are attributed to distraction, including the mobile phone.

"Probably more. Because it is a hard one to prove unless we find the body holding their phone, which does happen. Most of the time the phone is flung from the car and damaged, so we can't determine what form of distraction caused this fatality.”

Sgt Tierney said despite us all knowing the dangers of using our phones behind the wheel, people still do it.

"Everyone knows it's dangerous. It's not a difficult concept to wrap your head around,” he said.

"But still people think 'oh, it's just one time' or 'I'll be fine' or even have the attitude that an accident would never happen to them.

"The reality is, if you're willing to put yours and everyone else's lives at risk, then it just might.”

According to Sgt Tierney the South Burnett community can be quick to blame younger generations for these crashes.

"Everyone is always blaming the young people. But they are missing the point,” he said.

"Older generations are using their phones while driving just as much. They're the ones who grew up with phones in their cars, after all.

"It's about people taking responsibility for their actions and understanding they are putting everyone's lives at risk whenever they check their phone while driving.”