Mobile Phones and Driving

Recently in the media campaigners from BRAKE have expressed their wish to have all forms of hand held mobile phones banned from vehicles, they said that they beleive that drivers should be made to carry there mobile in the boot of their vehicle or have it switched off.  This is as a result of recent statistics released by Specsavers and Romex revealing the extent of on driver distractions on UK roads.

More than half a million UK drivers (575,000) have points on their licence for using their mobile phone at the wheel or being otherwise distracted.

– One in 15 (6.5%) of these have 6 points or more for driving distracted.

– 4 in 5 of these are male

– Six in ten children report that they have been driven by a driver talking on the phone.

Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) have spotted drivers on mobile phones outside their school or home – suggesting that a majority of children are being endangered by drivers for the sake of a call or text.

Distraction when  driving reduces hazard perception and increases reaction times in a similar way to drink – driving.

Drivers who think that they can multi-task are fooling themselves – research shows 98% are unable to divide their time without it affecting performance.

Which magazine  found in a driving simulator test, that sending a quick text whilst driving can impair a drivers ability much more than a pint can. Reaction time whilst texting increases by 2 seconds and reduces attention to the road by 79%. Drinking to the legal alcohol limit raised reaction times by 1.2 seconds – an 11 percent cut in attention.

Which said in their report that ‘in all but one of the tests, texting diminished our drivers abilities more than drinking, or any other type of phone use we tested in our research’. According to Which the drivers tended to get closer to the car in front by an average of aound 12m, this suggested that those who text and drive are more likely to tailgate. They also tended to drift between lanes more and one of the researchers even ‘crashed’ whilst attempting to text and drive.

It is illegal to drive whilst using a hand held mobile phone, this applies to texting as well as talking.

In our digital age, texting is not the only thing people can be tempted to do on their phone. Anything that takes your eyes off the road and your mind off the risks around you is dangerous, not just for you but for the other road users around you.

November 18, 2013