The risk of getting into a car accident while talking on a mobile phone while driving is growing as the number of mobile phone subscribers increases. Engaging in a phone conversation on a mobile phone while driving distracts the brain and delays reaction times which are more likely to cause drivers to swerve between lanes, slow down and miss important signs. Mobile phones should be banned while driving because they are risky.
An Australian study conducted in 2005, estimated that the risk of a collision when using a mobile phone was four times higher than the risk when a mobile phone was not being used. 456 drivers who owned phones, were involved in crashes. By collecting these drivers’ mobile phone records, scientists determined those who made telephone calls just before the time of the crash. Case crossover analysis of mobile phone habits enabled the scientists to calculate the increase in risk. Even hands-free devices were not that safer.
An earlier study in 2003, integrated data from questionnaires, mobile phone companies and crash records kept by the police. It found that the overall relative risk (RR) of having an accident for mobile phone users when compared to non-mobile phone users averaged 1.38 across all groups. The RR was then adjusted for kilometers driven per year and other crash exposures. When this was done RR was 1.11 for men and 1.21 for women. The study also revealed that increased mobile phone use correlated with an increase in RR.
However, there are some objections to the call for the ban of mobile phone use while driving. According to the Associated Press, CTIA – The Wireless Association, a mobile phone trade group in America, objected to a complete ban. Its vice-president, John Walls, is reported as saying, “ we think that you can sensibly and safely use a mobile phone to make a brief call.”
Although there are objections, there is sufficient evidence to
prove that using a mobile phone while driving is risky. Using a mobile phone while driving, taxes the cognitive skills of the brain at the expense of driving. The vast majority of drivers have no idea that using the mobile phone while driving is risky.