SNAPCHATTING: one in six young drivers surveyed had used he app while behind the wheel.
SNAPCHATTING: one in six young drivers surveyed had used he app while behind the wheel. Wavebreakmedia Ltd

Young drivers admit to using Snapchat while behind the wheel

SMART PHONE app Snapchat has emerged as a surprise threat to Queensland drivers, with a new study showing one in six young drivers surveyed had used he app while behind the wheel.

PhD researcher Verity Truelove, from QUT's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety-Queensland, surveyed 503 Queensland drivers aged 17 to 25 about using the popular social media app on the road.

She found 16 per cent of survey respondents confessed to using Snapchat on their mobile phone when driving.

For a few, that use only involved looking at, or replying to, other people's messages. But 15 per cent of those surveyed said they had used their phone to send a video or photo via Snapchat at the same time as controlling their vehicle.

"Of that 15 per cent, more than half said their primary motivation was to immediately share a video or photo of something they had seen while they were driving," Ms Truelove said.

"The vast majority of these app users said they most commonly used it while stopped at a red light, but three per cent said they most commonly used Snapchat while driving at any speed."

Ms Truelove said it was important to note 84 per cent of the surveyed drivers said they did not use Snapchat on the road, and only 12 per cent thought it was acceptable behaviour.

"But the majority of survey respondents said they knew of someone who did send videos or photos of Snapchat while driving," she said.

Penalties include a fine of $400 and three demerit points.



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