Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Time to act on mobile phone use while driving, say experts

Date:
February 4, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
It's time to act on mobile phone use while driving, say two senior Canadian physicians. Although there is still some uncertainty about the association between mobile phone use and risk of crashes, given the proliferation of mobile phones, the prevalence of distracted driving is undoubtedly increasing, they write.

Charles and Barry Pless argue that, with a quarter of crashes in the United States now attributed to mobile phone use, "we can't wait for perfect evidence before acting."

Although there is still some uncertainty about the association between mobile phone use and risk of crashes, given the proliferation of mobile phones, the prevalence of distracted driving is undoubtedly increasing, they write.

Texting is the riskiest activity because the distraction is cognitive and visual, they explain. Handheld phone use (particularly when making or receiving calls) comes next, and hands-free use is probably the least dangerous.

Convincing causal associations are notoriously difficult to determine, particularly in this area, they say. However, physicians and policy makers "must often make decisions and act before they have solid proof."

They therefore decided to proceed by taking as "given" that the risk was "causal, substantial, and likely to grow unless more successful preventive measures are introduced."

They discuss possible interventions, such as education, legislation and technology, but point out that evidence supporting the effectiveness of education and legislation is inconsistent.

They believe the most promising solution to distracted driving caused by the mobile phone may be more technology. For example, software that prevents texting while driving or a signal jamming key that prevents mobile phone reception when the ignition is engaged.

"Ultimately, a technical solution is needed that blocks texting and conversations by drivers while permitting passengers to use their phones as they wish," they write. Until nudging works fully, they suggest regulatory bodies "must be instructed to incorporate the best available technological preventive measures into all new mobile phones and cars."

They recall the long delay between the first scientific evidence and the public's recognition that drunk driving is unacceptable, and say "we cannot accept such a long process in the case of distracted driving."

Studies must continue, but ... "we cannot always wait for perfect evidence to act. Doing nothing, or avoiding the tough options, can have disastrous consequences," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Pless, B. Pless. Mobile phones and driving. BMJ, 2014; 348 (feb04 5): g1193 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g1193

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Time to act on mobile phone use while driving, say experts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204185645.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, February 4). Time to act on mobile phone use while driving, say experts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204185645.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Time to act on mobile phone use while driving, say experts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204185645.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins