As motorcyclists, we’re all too familiar with irresponsible car drivers who are either blatantly reckless or simply oblivious to their surroundings. Regardless of what it may be, these delinquent road users pose a major threat to the safety of motorcyclists. In France, in particular, a recent study conducted by AXA Prevention has revealed that a staggering number of drivers admit to using their mobile phones while driving.
AXA Prevention is a world-renowned organization which is a subsidiary of AXA, a large French insurance company which conducts national surveys and publishes educational materials in a bid to assess and reduce risks associated with various socioeconomic activities. The study conducted by the organization has revealed that a whopping 80 percent of French drivers admit to using their mobile phone while driving. What’s interesting is that phones are being used for more than just calling and texting, they’re being used to consume various forms of content while on the road, with movies and videos being notable media.
Out of the 2,253 people surveyed, 52 percent admit to making and taking phone calls while driving. Additionally, 45 percent say that they configure their GPS devices while on the go, 34 percent read and send SMS messages, 24 percent look at notifications, 15 percent send emails, 8 percent post stuff on their social media accounts, and lastly, 6 percent actively participate in video conference meetings, all while driving their cars. Just because modern tech means cars are safer than ever before, doesn't mean it's safe to be on your phone while driving.
Now, if you’re thinking car drivers are the most irresponsible road users out there, the French study goes even further. It turns out that cyclists are almost as irresponsible, too, with 72 percent of bicycle users surveyed admitting to using their phones to make calls while riding their bikes. Motorcyclists and scooter riders weren’t spared, either. Although the number of motorcycle and scooter users who use their phones while riding is significantly lower than that of cars and bicycles, 46 percent is still a rather alarming number, and is an eight-percent increase versus the previous year’s survey.
Given this unsettling number of road users blatantly neglecting safety in exchange for being able to use their mobile phones, it isn’t really surprising why there are so many road accidents which could otherwise be so easily avoided. That being said, it makes it even harder for safe, law-abiding road-users to stay out of harm’s way.