Cellphone addiction: it's a killer

2011-09-28 09:22

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.


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.”

  • Jon_Mogo - 2011-09-28 09:37

    facebooking on the move?! thats ridiculas I try my best not to speak on my phone while driving, but I still feel guilt when I do. having that said, It peeves me off when someone is paying MORE attention to his phone than the bloody road - ESPECIALLY at traffic lights that dont work!

      Servaas - 2011-09-28 10:36

      Agree Jon but I think the biggest killer in SA is the Taxi's.

  • OwnOpinion - 2011-09-28 12:13

    I drive the N1 every morning. And seeing the people using their cellphones makes me mad too. But telling them to look where they're going is like committing a crime. I've been given the finger more than once. But when I see the bumper bashing, I feel sorry for the other person.

  • malThinus - 2011-09-28 12:16

    the problem is that people see opportunity when driving, if you've talked on the phone once without an accident you can do it again? discipline is also key - people just don't know how to follow rules (red means you can quickly drive over before the other cars are in your way right?)

  • KC - 2011-09-28 13:05

    Well im addicted to my IPAD, and itls a lot easier to use while driving than a cellphone.

  • rumsour - 2011-09-28 15:51

    Put more cops on the road, first offense R5000.00, second offense R50000.00, third offense losing license for a period of no less than 3 years. With that kind of money for tickets even the bush hiders could come out to play.

  • Papeslaai - 2011-09-29 08:02

    I'm a biker and are more alert to these things. The biggest culprits are women and when you dare to point out the error of their ways in near misses, they get all mean with their language and gestures. One even screamed at me, "Who the f*ck are you..."

  • tinotriste - 2011-11-16 15:52

    Mobile phone addiction is becoming a problem... http://www.cashgenerator.co.uk/are-you-addicted-to-your-mobile-phone.aspx

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