Phones 'cause serious driver distractions'
The risks of using a mobile phone while driving reach far beyond simply making or receiving calls, according to new research.
Figures produced by a study carried out in America suggest that even when a driver is not making or receiving a call on his mobile, just the act of expecting a call can cause a noticeable effect.
By using a 24-point checklist of mobile device-related distractions, which in turn assessed four aspects of mobile phone use including anticipation of calls and emotional reactions, researchers at the University of Washington found that people who spend a lot of time thinking about making or receiving calls are more likely to be in crashes.
Officials behind the study want to draw the results to the attention of young drivers in particular, who have been found in previous studies to be particularly compulsive mobile phone users when behind the wheel.
Commenting on the research, PhD student Jennifer Whitehill said: "This study suggests that thinking about future cell phone calls and messages may be an additional source of distraction that could contribute to crashes."
Copyright Press Association 2012
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