Mobile Pone Distraction set to become Biggest Kllre on British Roads by 2015

27 February 2015 - By Eugene Herbert - The RAC Group

Hi Folks…


Suffice it to say; reading the following report on what is happening in the UK should cause us great concern. Given that – in general – South African drivers are not nearly as law abiding or as well trained as their British counterparts the situation ( if all the information  is known) will be considerably worse.


Road safety campaigners are warning that mobile phone distraction will become a bigger killer on the UK’s roads than drink driving in 2015.


The numbers of motorists using mobile phones to make calls, texts or social media updates whilst driving has risen and distracted driving is expected to be the biggest single cause of death and injuries on the roads in 2015 as a result.


 Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin floated the idea to double the current penalty for mobile phone use to six points on a motorist’s licence.


Department for Transport figures reveal that 378 accidents specifically involving mobile phone use were reported in 2012 — more than any year on record. Those accidents resulted in 548 casualties, including 17 deaths.


But motoring experts say that this figure gives a false impression of the true scale of the problem, as many cases involving phones are classed instead as an "in-vehicle distraction". In-vehicle distractions led to 9,012 accidents and 196 deaths between 2010 and 2012.


When these figures are combined the total number of deaths is 213, only 27 less than are caused by drink driving. And with the current steep decline of drink drive deaths, mobile phone distraction is expected to become the biggest cause of death on the roads this year


Simon Marsh, managing director of incident video camera firm SmartWitness, said: “The problem is far more widespread than Department of Transport believes and driver distraction due to mobiles will soon be the biggest single cause of death on the roads.


“We believe a large number of serious and fatal accidents are wrongly classed as in-vehicle distraction when the specific cause of the accident was down to mobile phone use.”


He added: “The only real deterrent is a one-year ban from driving for anyone caught texting at the wheel. It’s clear that the current legislation isn’t working and an increase to six points for mobile offenders will not be enough to stop the death toll.


"Lives are being ruined just for the reason that someone wants to send a text message whilst driving. The only message that should be sent is from government to motorists that this is not acceptable."


The number of offenders using a mobile when driving has shot up and recent research showed the number of motorists driving whilst on a mobile has more than doubled since 2009 from 1.2% to 2.6% in 2012.


In 2012 583,686 drivers were fined £60 and received three points on their licence, more than ten times higher than the 55,300 convictions for drink driving at that time, and the age group of 18-25 that is most likely to use mobile phones whilst driving has seen the biggest rise in traffic deaths.


In the USA several logistics firms are now installing SmartWitness cameras, with a second camera in the cab to make sure that drivers are not using mobile phones whilst driving.


Marsh said: “The vast majority of people who use a phone when driving think it’s highly unlikely that they will get caught.


“It’s not been thoroughly policed and the penalties aren’t that stiff so people are prepared to take the risk.


“But there should also be greater education for young drivers to see the huge dangers of using their phone when driving, like there has been in the USA and Japan. More campaigns like this need to be done in the UK.”


Last year car manufacturer Volkswagen launched a viral campaign called “Eyes on the Road” to raise awareness of mobile use in Japan which they state is the “leading cause of death behind the wheel.” The video was watched over 26 million times.


Till next time – hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and keep the cell phone in its proper place while driving.


Eugene Herbert


Group Managing Director

The RAC Group


http://advanceddriving.co.za

Other Articles

  • Culture drives policy

  • Strict speed enforcement detrimental to safety?

  • Dodge the pothole

  • Speed doesn’t cause crashes ?

  • Avoiding a rear-end collision

  • Seatbelt check list

  • Passengers put your feet up…or not

  • The ripple effect of your driving behaviour

  • Consequences of drinking and driving

  • Driving tired – the dangers!

  • Driving in work zones

  • Driving after dark

  • Tips: Fake phones for driver safety?

  • Do drivers know how to keep a safe following distance?

  • Study reveals women are the angriest drivers

  • Driving With a Pet in the Vehicle

  • Keys Left in Vehicles Spurring More Thefts

  • Public Protector

  • The Risks of Eating and Driving

  • Cognitive Psychology and Vehicle Speed

  • Animal Collisions

  • Young Drivers Over-Estimate Their Abilities

  • Driving for Better Business

  • Parallel Parking No Fuss, No Drama

  • Profiling Driver Risk

  • Back-to-School Driving Advice

  • Drowsy Driving Persists as Fatal Crash Cause

  • Tailgating

  • How you drive reveals a lot about your personality

  • Understanding the Zipper Merge

  • Prevalence of Self-Reported Aggressive Driving Behaviour

  • Warning: Pokemon Go, Another Distraction…

  • Are parents negatively impacting learner drivers?

  • How fast are your reactions?

  • Self-Driving Cars Raise Ethical Issues

  • Multi-Tasking In The Car - A Myth

  • Driving After Dark

  • Airtravel vs. Road use

  • How to Conduct Efficient Vehicle Inspections

  • The Three Life-Saving Questions

  • How to Prevent Rear-End Collisions

  • Driving with limited visibility

  • Look twice for motocycles

  • Keeping Your Children Safe From Distracted Driving Crashes

  • Crash & Collision Causes Revealed

  • Being Driving Focussed

  • Distracted Driving fuels insurance rate hikes

  • Adjusting to the time change

  • Pothole Definition

  • Buckling up in the back seat

  • Weather-related Traffic Deaths - What studies show...

  • Reversing Tips

  • Elements of a safety program

  • One-In-Seven Suffer Memory Gaps When Driving

  • NTSB Most Critical

  • Will self-driving cars allow for drinking and driving?

  • The Impact of Fossil Fuels

  • Driver Safety 101

  • Head Restraints Cut Injuries by 11%

  • Traffic Fatalities Up in First Half of 2015

  • Car Lock-in "Heads Up"

  • Is drunk driving OK when the alternative may be worse?

  • Distracted Driving Detection Technology

  • Driver Distractions Extend 27 Seconds beyond Act

  • Drunk Driving - South Africa rated the worst

  • When Flash Floods Strike

  • What to watch out for on Rural Roads

  • Self-Parking Technology Avoided

  • Are you and your family breaking the law?

  • Work Related Driving Time

  • Safety near Bicyclist

  • Human Error

  • Aircon Saves Fuel

  • Fuel Prices Down - Efficient Driving Still Needed

  • Managing Space & Time for Safe Driving

  • Driverless Cars

  • 7 Tips for Curbing Distracted Driving

  • Parental Role Modelling

  • Braced for Impact

  • 7 Advances in Automotive Safety Technology That Could Save Your Life

  • 8 out 10 Drivers Exceed Factory Posted Fuel Consumption Figures

  • Driving into the sunset isn't always Romantic

  • Do you know your drivers? Do they know you?

  • Study: 25% of Cars Create Most Air Pollution

  • Hands-Free Infotainment Isnt Risk Free, Safety Council Warns

  • Ten Things All Car Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles

  • Legislation Update: Baby seats

  • Female Drivers More Likely to Use Cell Phones

  • Roundabouts Safer for Older Drivers

  • Unpacking the Ministers Collision

  • Dealing with the Aftermath of Potholes

  • How to Avoid Parking Lot Crashes

  • Mobile Pone Distraction set to become Biggest Kllre on British Roads by 2015

  • Light Commercial Vehicles can be Low on Safety

  • Saving lives: Improved vehicle designs bring down death rates

  • China To Improve Road Safety To Protect Lives

  • Top Ten Tips To Stay Within The Limit

  • Dealing with Agressive Driving

  • Top 10 Accident Prone Professions

  • National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

  • Maintaining Perspective - Deaths by Terrorism in 2013

  • Where Drivers Dont Mean To Speed

  • Circles, Circles and more circles

  • Calm your Driving

  • Sharing the Highway with Heavy Trucks

  • Pedestrian Safety

  • Abuse of Cell Phones Taken More Seriously

  • 5 Steps to Keep your Child Safe

  • Driving While Medicated

  • Hands On Steering

  • Scanning the Road

  • Prevent being blinded by Sun Glare

  • Link Discovered Between Driver Obesity & Crash Risk

  • A Third of Young Drivers Admit Taking 'Selfies' at the Wheel

  • How to Prevent 'UFO's' in your Vehicle