A total of 80% of motorists use their phone while driving, a record figure and a sharp increase compared to last year, according to the 2022 Axa Prevention of behavior on the road barometer published on Tuesday. The increase is thus 11 points compared to 2021 (69%) and dizzying compared to the first barometer, in 2004, before the appearance of smartphones, where they were less than a quarter (22%). In detail, 52% call (+ 8 points), an action which quadruples the risk of accident according to the World Health Organization(WHO), and 34% consult or send a message (+ 10 points). According to an American study conducted in 2009 by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), the risk when writing a message is multiplied by 23.
These 2022 figures, collected online from January 10 to 25 from 2,253 French people, are “worrying”, underlines to Agence France-Presse Éric Lemaire, president of the Axa Prévention association. He is also alarmed that the biggest increase concerns cyclists: they are now almost three out of four (72%) to use their phone while driving (+ 14 points). 2021 was a dark year for cyclists in terms of road safety as the number of fatalities (226) jumped 21% compared to 2019 before the pandemic, in a context of changing travel habits. However, their behavior varies greatly depending on whether they only use their own bike or those offered in self-service.
While holding your phone in your hand and wearing earphones or headphones is prohibited, bicycle “owners” behave much less dangerously than “renters”: for example, only 17% of the former consult or send a message, compared to 73% for users of self-service bicycles.
The delta between the two categories is 50 to 60 points for all uses of the phone, such as setting the GPS (20% / 80%). Éric Lemaire attempts an explanation: “When you use your own bike, you generally know where you are going, for example to get from your home to your place of work. When you take a self-service bicycle, you can look at the route, where the nearest station is…” In addition, 72% of motorists (+9 points) say they drive at a speed of between 40 and 50 km /h in areas limited to 30 km/h in the city , which are increasingly widespread, and 32% (+ 5 points) at more than 65 km/h in the city.