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Cellphone addiction: it's a killer

2011-09-28 09:22

SAFETY THREAT: According to the research mobile phone addication poses a threat to road safety.

London, England - Road safety organisation Brake and Direct Line are warning of the danger of mobile-phone addiction after research revealed the extent of driver distraction from sending sms's, emailing and accessing social networks.

Three in 10 drivers have admitted sending text messages while driving and one in 13 (8%) texts from behind the wheel at least once a week. One in 11 drivers surfs the web, emails and uses apps or social networking sites when driving.

Some authorities say texting behind the wheel makes a driver 23 times more likely to cause a crash. Using a phone to email or surf the web also causes distraction.

Research into the effect of sending or receiving text messages among young drivers found the amount of time drivers spent with their eyes off the road more than quadrupled. Drivers made 28% more involuntary lane changes and 140% made incorrect lane changes.

DISTRACTION RISK

Research using a driving simulator to explore risks drivers face when using phones for emailing found a heightened crash risk. Studies looking at the impact of talking on a cellphone while driving found crash risk was quadrupled, whether on a hand-held or hands-free phone.

Julie Townsend, Brake's campaigns director, said: “People who text or use the web or social networking when driving are taking enormous risks with their own and other people’s lives. This kind of irresponsible behaviour is illegal and it kills - there should be no excuses.”

Frances Browning, spokesperson for Direct Line Car Insurance, said: “Cellphone technology has become such an intrinsic part of our lives that many drivers feel it is perfectly acceptable to drive whie talking, texting, emailing or even surfing the web.

"Well, it isn’t and there is no excuse for doing so. No call or text is that important.”

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