The potential risk from motorists using mobile phones while driving is increasing rapidly, according to a report from the World Health Organisation.
This increasing risk to road safety is due to the exponential growth in the use of mobile phones more generally in society, claims the report ‘Mobile Phone Use: a growing problem for distracted drivers’.
According to the report studies from a number of countries suggest that the number of motorists using mobile phones while driving has increased over the past 5–10 years from 1% to 11%. Studies also suggest that drivers using mobile phones are approximately four times more likely to be involved in a crash.
Using mobile phones can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel and their minds off the road and the surrounding situation. It is this type of ‘cognitive distraction’ which appears to have the biggest impact on driving behaviour, claims the report.
The report concludes with some of the countermeasures that could be put in place to tackle this emerging problem, including:
- Setting up data collection systems to assess the magnitude of the problem.
- Adopting and enforcing legislation.
- Encouraging policies to address mobile phone use among employers with large fleets.
- Running campaigns to increase public awareness about the risks of the behaviour.
Click here to read the full report.