Inexperienced drivers talking on portable smartphones are more likely to run red lights: study

According to researchers from Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Center for Software, young novice drivers who talk to a portable smartphone while driving are likely to drive even under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The “Smartphone Use while Driving: An Investigation of Young Novice Driver (YND) Behavior” study also found that talking on a cell phone is strongly correlated with high-risk driving behaviors such as overtaking inside the car ahead. , speeding, driving without a valid license and driving under the influence.

The researchers from Lero interviewed 700 young German novice drivers (YND), with an average age of just over 21. Although the data refers to Germany, it could point to risky driving behaviors of young drivers in other motorized countries, allowing road safety authorities to carry out information campaigns designed for younger drivers, the authors believe. Dr Darren Shannon of Lero and the University of Limerick said car accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29, according to the World Health Organization, with the use of smartphone that acts as a significant contributing factor.

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“The data also indicates a moderately strong effect between talking to a cell phone and accelerating over 20km / h above the speed limit in urban areas. Acceleration in built-up areas is moderately related to reading notifications, sending texts or voice messages, “Shannon said.” There is a strong association between those who speak on the phone and those who engage in risky activities with potentially fatal consequences , such as drunk driving, ignorance of red lights and driving with more passengers than seat belts, “added Dr. Shannon, senior vehicle collision researcher at Emerging Risk Group (ERG), Kemmy Business School, UL.

Lero’s Dr Martin Mullins said the team’s work points to the prevalence of certain attitudes in young people who drive while using cell phones. In Germany, for example, research shows that a considerable number of novice motorists deliberately disobey the law by hiding their phones while driving. “These attitudes have implications for the safety of other road users. Our work enables road safety authorities to precisely target information campaigns designed for younger drivers. Targeted campaigns should raise awareness that all smartphone-related activities can significantly increase the risk of an accident or near-miss, ”Mullins said.

“We don’t just see policy makers as responsible. Car manufacturers are making their cars look like an entertainment venue. This may have induced a misperception that behaviors such as changing music while driving are perceived as safe and should instead engage in efforts to reduce this type of behavior, ”added Dr. Mullins, co-leader of the ERG at UL. Lero researcher and PhD student Tim Jannusch of the Institute for Insurance Studies at TH Koln said the overall high percentage of novice young drivers who use the phone for music-related activities may suggest they might perceive the activities. related to music as less dangerous.

“This could be attributed to the fact that drivers can use the car stereo while driving, which implies that changing or searching for music is safe. However, changing music while driving, such as reading or writing text messages, can cause cognitive, visual and physical distractions and significantly increase the risk of road collisions, “Jannusch said. Dr. Shannon said policy makers could use the their results for the development of public information policies and for adapting financial penalties for those who engage in smartphone behavior related to dangerous driving. “Our results can also be used in a usage-based insurance (UBI) context. to financially incentivize safer driving “, he added. (ANI)

(This story was not edited by our team of editors and is generated from a feed.)

News Highlights:

  • According to researchers from Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Center for Software, young novice drivers who talk to a portable smartphone while driving are likely to drive even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Inexperienced drivers talking on portable smartphones are more likely to run red lights: study