When they need to contact a friend, relative or work colleague people rarely think twice about picking up the phone.
But that is exactly what people are being urged to not do if they know the person they want to call or send a text to is behind the wheel.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says people should wait until they know their colleague, friend or loved one is no longer driving before contacting them.
The charity hopes the advice – issued in support of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s Mobile Enforcement Campaign – will help make the roads safer by preventing drivers from getting distracted.
‘Phoning driver ups accident risk’
Using a phone – whether it’s a handheld one or a hands-free device – while driving, says RoSPA, makes it four times likelier that a motorist will have a road traffic accident.
It says drivers who use their phone are less likely to be aware of what’s happening on the road, notice road signs or travel at a steady speed.
They also have slower reaction times and are more likely to feel stressed and carry out dangerous manoeuvres such as tailgating or squeezing into unsafe gaps in moving traffic.
RoSPA’s road safety manager, Nick Lloyd, says while it only takes a couple of seconds for a driver travelling at 40mph to pick up a phone and take a quick look at it, around 40 metres will have been covered “completely blind” in that time.
A pedestrian hit at that speed, he points out, is likely to be killed or left with a serious, life-changing injury.
Phoning or texting someone who is known to be driving, he adds, “could lead to tragedy” and should be avoided until after their journey is over.
Date Published: June 16, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown