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Growing concern over hand held mobile phones

4 November 2016

There is growing concern about the use of hand held mobile devices by drivers. In Britain, government is planning to increase penalties and an active public debate is ongoing.

According to The Economist at any given daylight moment in America today, roughly 170,000 drivers are reckoned to be texting and 660,000 are holding a phone to an ear. Of America’s more than 35,000 annual road deaths, a quarter are now linked to phone use, according to the National Safety Council, an NGO.

The Economist article goes on to say 'It is a similar story around the world. The slaughter on the roads is often more terrible in developing countries .......

More than 140 countries prohibit drivers from holding a handset to their ear. Some 30 or so also forbid the use of hands-free headsets. Most modern cars come equipped with hands-free systems to make and receive calls. Yet many studies show a deeper problem is the extra cognitive workload a driver takes on when talking to another person on the telephone. Texting is even worse and is widely banned at the wheel; texters are even more likely to kill someone or die in an accident. How can technology help keep drivers focused on the road?'

There is still some debate regarding the relationship between driver distraction and driver inattention, but access to good research can be found in The Road Safety Observatroy.

Further advice for business drivers can be found on the Driving for Better Business web site.

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