Phone usage on roads at ‘ridiculously high levels’

Elsa McEvoy

Man talking on the phone while driving his car

A fifth of female drivers say they’ve applied makeup behind the wheel while one in 12 drivers admit to using their phones while driving, according to recent research.

“You’re seven times more likely to crash if you use your phone while driving,” said Vice President for Welfare and Equality Podge Henry.

“When your concentration is off the road you’re putting yourself and others in danger,” Henry added.

Almost two thirds of drivers admitted to using their phones at a red light according to a recent survey conducted by AA car insurance.

“Phone use by Irish drivers is at ridiculously high levels,” said Conor Faughnan, the AA’s director of consumer affairs.

Earlier this week the Gardaí also tweeted that two women had been fined that morning for applying makeup while behind the wheel.

The tweet read “Roses are red violets are blue, €80 fine making its way to you. 2 drivers left heartbroken after being fined this morning”.

They later tweeted that one of these drivers was caught trying to drive while curling her eyelashes.

This is not uncommon among road users. A study conducted by women’s motor insurer Diamond revealed that one fifth of female drivers admit to touching up their mascara while driving.

The study showed that out of 4,000 female drivers surveyed, young women between the ages of 17 and 24 are the most likely to apply cosmetics while driving and are the most liable to crash their car as a result.

It is currently illegal to use your phone while driving and is punishable by a €60 fine and three penalty points which will remain on your license for three years.

Women applying makeup while on the road will also be fined €80 if caught in a bid to encourage road safety and prevent avoidable collisions on the road.

When thinking about using your phone or needing to touch up your makeup while driving, Faughnan says, “put the bloody thing away and watch what you’re doing.”