July 11, 2018

Majority of drivers don’t perceive texting dangerous while driving – Study


File: Gridlock as tankers shut down Apapa road.

Many drivers don’t perceive texting and driving to be dangerous in certain driving scenarios, a new study shows.

The new study, published in the current issue of Risk Analysis: An International Journal, also reveals that female drivers and less experienced drivers were more likely to use cellphones while driving.

In the U.S., mobile phone usage has been a factor in one quarter of all car collisions.

Talking on a mobile device increases crash risk by 2.2 times whereas texting increases risk by 6.1 times.

However, study shows many drivers are still willing to take the risk, as ‘fear of missing out’ and separation anxiety keep them from abiding by the law.

According to the study, 68 per cent of participants reported needing a lot of convincing to believe in the dangers of texting and driving.

In spite of laws prohibiting such behaviour, mobile phone use while driving is expected to increase.

“Drivers are not good at identifying where it is safe to use their phone, it is safer for drivers to just pull over in an appropriate place to use their phone quickly and then resume their journey,” Oviedo-Trespalacios, one of the authors from Australia Queensland University of Technology, was quoted as saying in a news release.

Observational studies have found that as many as 18 percent of drivers in high-income countries, and up to 31 per cent in low- and middle-income countries, use their mobile devices while on the road, contributing to significantly reduced road safety.

Drivers were much more likely to talk on their phones while driving than they were to use their phones to text.

This is expected since the visual demands of texting compete directly with those of driving, whereas talking on the phone is mostly auditory, researchers say.

Researchers believe that the results of this study may contribute to more targeted distracted driving campaigns by highlighting opportunities for interventions.

Newsmen report that the National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.

the council said that nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.