Why do we still use our mobile phones while driving?
This footage was taken from a recent event and is highlighting the possible dangers from mobile phone distraction.
Understanding the Dangers
I’m not sure that we as a people fully understand the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving. I think that’s why it’s still such an issue on the roads. “I got away with it last time, why will this time be any different? I’ll only be a second anyway”. The problem is that it only takes a second of distraction and you are faced with a life changing situation.
I’m not going to ask for a show of hands; but if I did I imagine that most of you would admit to using your phones whilst driving at some point or another. That text that comes through and it slowly niggles in your brain to who it’s from. “Is it important?”, “Are the kids alright?”. Maybe you want to make a quick call… “The traffic is bad, I’ll just let my other half know I’m going to be a bit late home.” or “I’ll just call one of my clients and put the driving time to good use”. etc etc
According to the ROSPA website (http://www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/drivers/distraction/mobile-phones/) drivers using mobile phones are four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and other people.
Changing the Law
The initial ban to use your mobile whilst driving came into effect in 2003, but it was more of a slap on the wrist with a £30 fine.
However it soon became clear that this particular distraction was more of a problem than initially anticipated, so in 2007 the fine was increased and 3 penalty points added. However, this still didn’t seem to deter most people and so earlier this year they have increased the fine again and doubled the penalty points to 6.
Perhaps Education is the Key
It’ll be interesting to see if the new increase in fine and points makes a difference this time; it might do because of the increased consequences if caught.
Maybe the deterrent isn’t enough? Maybe education is the key? Maybe we need to show people what can happen in that split second; will they notice the car suddenly stopped in front of them?
Were they watching the road as the ball suddenly rolled out in front of them and the child that followed? Is a child going to run out from behind that bus?”
One answer could be to get them to try it in the safe environment of a simulator? Let’s show them the consequences of their actions in a simulated environment; it may just be enough to make them think twice next time they reach for their phone whilst driving?