RoSPA urges people not to call drivers on their phones

In a campaign against distracted driving in the UK, callers are being urged to delay placing calls to people they know are driving until the journey’s end.

During this week, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) in the UK is running a mobile enforcement campaign and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is supporting it with a plea to people to resist the temptation of calling or texting someone who they know to be driving.

By waiting until the driver has completed the journey, there is less temptation to pick up the call or read and reply to the text, activities that contribute to a four-times increase in the likelihood of a crash, regardless of whether the equipment used by the driver is hands-free or not.

The dangers of using mobile phones behind the wheel are illustrated by RoSPA’s road safety manager, Nick Lloyd, who told us, “Imagine you are travelling at 40mph in a residential area, the phone rings and you pick it up and have a quick look. In the two seconds it’s taken, you will have travelled for around 40 metres, completely blind.”

At that speed, Nick Lloyd says that striking a pedestrian is likely to kill them or cause life-changing injuries, something that the driver would have to live with for a lifetime.

There is clear evidence that drivers who use their phones are much less aware of what’s happening on the road around them, fail to see road signs, fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed, are more likely to tailgate the vehicle in front, react more slowly, take longer to brake and longer to stop, are more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic and feel more stressed and frustrated.

“If you know someone is driving, please don’t call them until they have finished their journey or it could lead to tragedy,” Nick Lloyd concluded.

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Human Factors

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