Research reveals mixed messages about phones

Published: May 18, 2015

Grey nomads will not have been alone in noticing the increasing numbers of motorists adopting the frightening habit on of using mobile phones while they are driving.

Police in New South Wales fine around 1000 drivers each week for mobile phone use, and accident statistics for the state suggest that four people were killed and 66 injured between 2006 and 2010 as a result of drivers using mobile phones.

However, controversial new research coming out of the US is suggesting that mobile phones are not causing an increase in car crashes. Indeed, a study claims that the reverse is true and that bans on mobile phones may cause crashes because drivers try to hide them from view, forcing them to look down in their laps rather than holding their device at eye level so they can see the road.

A technical leader for Ford, Jeff Greenburg, dismissed the idea that there was a  ‘distracted driving epidemic’.

“Crash rates have been declining for well over a decade, yet over the same period of time the number of mobile phones has increased exponentially,” Mr Greenburg said. “And so the epidemic of crashes that we might expect, we don’t really see reflected in the data, and that’s really puzzling to a lot of researchers.”

Mr Greenburg said drivers are ‘actually reasonably good judges about whether they have spare capacity (to use their phones)’.

However, Inspector Phil Brooks of the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol told News Corp that mobile phones most certainly do cause crashes.

“There is absolutely no question that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous,” said Inspector Brooks. “And, sadly, we have evidence of mobile phones being the likely cause of some fatal crashes.”

  • Have you noticed people using mobile phones while driving? Have you ever been guilty of doing so? Do you think the practice is dangerous? Comment below.


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7 years ago

Like drinking from a bottle,eating,I thought to drive to the conditions of the road took two hands in an emergency to be a responsible driver.

jack alexander
7 years ago

C’mon in one week alone i’ve had two people reversing out of driveways on me both busy on there mobiles,& one joker failing to give way at a roundabout also busy on his mobile,all lucky to be alive because of my good driving, all this in my first week of work in Yamba nsw. Any Truckie or traveller would agree this is the norm.


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