By David Crundall in The Conversation.
A recent police clampdown on driving while using hand-held mobile phones caught nearly 8,000 UK drivers in a week, ostensibly reflecting a widespread disregard of a law intended to protect all. But is using a hand-held mobile phone really that dangerous when driving?
Yes. In fact, the evidence is irrefutable. Hundreds of research studies have been conducted around the world, and they all agree that use of mobile phones while driving is dangerous and pervasive. Researchers have estimated that 50 minutes’ of chatter a month leads to a five-fold increase in the likelihood of a crash.
Texting and driving also appears to be a significant problem, especially among younger drivers (“generation-text”). Studies conducted in both simulators and in the real world have shown that drivers on a mobile phone reduce their visual scanning of the road ahead, are more likely to weave within their lane on bends, and are slower to respond to hazards.
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