People using mobile phones while driving remains a serious problem in Latvia

33% of drivers in Latvia have a habit of talking on the phone while driving, 27% sometimes drink coffee, 20% eat food, and 5% write text messages. 1% say they browse social media or read the news. 48% of drivers said they focus on driving, according to data from GO Responsible Driving Index.
The study reveals that men talk on the phone more often than women (37% and 30% respectively).
Data also shows that when compared to older drivers younger drivers are the ones who often engage in distracting activities while driving.
For example, writing text messages is something common for people 18 to 29 years old (13%). This is true for only 1% of drivers 40 to 49 years old.
Younger drivers (18 to 29 years) are also the ones who sometimes eat while at the driving wheel.
«It is wrong to believe that only drunk drivers create risks on the road: distractions such as talking on the whole, eating or drinking are just as dangerous. It is important to consider risks and priorities in every situation. It would be best if drivers made a stop in a safe place if they want to eat,» says Safe Driving School principal Jānis Vanks.
He explains: «Car driving requires undivided attention. Activities unrelated to driving distract people and reduce their concentration. Road traffic is unpredictable. Predicting potentially dangerous situations can help save lives. Drivers often use mobile phones to make calls or film and make photos on the road, and then post photos and videos on social media, which is also a distraction.»
Looking at different regions, it can be concluded that drivers in Vidzeme are the most responsible in Latvia: 58% of respondents said they do not engage in other activities while driving.
Phones are used the most often by drivers in Pieriga (46%) and the least often by drivers in Vidzeme (18%). When it comes to writing text messages, drivers in Pieriga (8%) are the most active. Eating while driving is a common habit among drivers in Kurzeme (26%) and the least common among Riga residents and Zemgale residents (17%). Drivers from Kurzeme frequently drink coffee while driving (34%). This is not as prevalent among drivers in Zemgale (21%).
GO Responsible Driving Index is a study organized by GO non-alcoholic beer in cooperation with Safe Driving School and Norstat centre.