Driver distraction is often the initial factor in the chain of events that lead to a crash. There are many potential causes of driver distraction such as events or activities taking place both inside and outside of the vehicle. Drivers using mobile phones in a vehicle is a significant cause of driver distraction.
It’s unrealistic to expect that drivers won’t be distracted from time to time. However, within a Safe System, drivers need to ensure their journeys are safe by reducing the risk of driver distraction wherever they can.
Mobile phones are well and truly interwoven into our daily life. We use them for everything and for long periods of time each day. That includes when we’re behind the wheel.
Four of the top five most common distracted driving activities can now be done on a smart phone – texting, talking on a mobile phone, using a GPS or navigation system and adjusting music. And this is reflected in crash statistics. Driver distraction was identified as a contributing factor in 5 fatal crashes and 123 serious injury crashes in 2021*.
This campaign targets drivers in their 20s and 30s who use their phones while driving. Over-represented in crashes where a driver was distracted by a mobile phone, this age group has grown up with smartphones and many are constantly connected to them.
The campaign shows both the good and bad ways that mobile phones have become interwoven with our lives and positions the driver’s seat as the place to practise self-control. It encourages drivers to put down their mobile phone and create a place of sanctuary from an increasingly hectic and constantly connected life.
The campaign launched on 28 June with a strong focus on digital video channels (social media, YouTube, On-Demand). Online advertising was supported by an initial flight of TV, cinema and influencer activity on both radio and social media.
* Note: Crash data for 2021 could change as further details, particularly from fatal crashes, are added to the CAS database. Data is for all crashes reported by the Police to Waka Kotahi for the year 2021 as recorded in CAS at 7/3/2021.