The Direct Line Foundation has addressed for the first time in a study the issue of killed in traffic accidents due to improper use of the mobile phone, highlighting an alarming figure and highlighting that being distracted by the smartphone would be one of the most worrisome risks when it comes to Road Safety.
The study “Smartphones: the impact of mobile addiction on traffic accidents”, Made by the Direct Line Foundation In collaboration with the University Institute of Traffic Research and Road Safety of the University of Valencia (INTRAS), it has blown all the alarms. The report concludes that this bad habit could have caused the death of 390 people a year.
These figures make the use of the smartphone one of the main causes of road mortality, at the height of speeding or alcohol consumption. In fact, the distraction with the mobile would cause every year more than 20% of the total of those killed in traffic accidents and almost 8,000 accidents with victims.
Despite awareness campaigns, mobile use among motorists is more widespread than previously believed. In fact, 13 million drivers, that is, one in two, say they use their cell phone while they are carrying the vehicle and about 600,000 see themselves as "authentic mobile addicts" and recognize "they can't stop looking at it" while They are behind the wheel.
The report, which is completed with more than 1,700 driver interviews, provides another worrying fact: almost 2 million motorists (7%) admit to taking selfies while driving; 2.3 million (9%) claim to have interacted on social networks while driving and almost 10 million confess to putting messages in WhatsApp being behind the wheel (37%).
Accidents of great violence
Accidents with the presence of the mobile phone usually consist of track exits and rear scopes and are mainly carried out by drivers traveling alone, in cars (75%), at the beginning and end of the work week and in good weather and traffic conditions (91% and 66%, respectively). When being distracted with the mobile these accidents can be of a great violence, since there is no capacity to appreciate the obstacles and the danger is not seen coming.
As for the profile of the driver who usually uses the smartphone while at the wheel, he is usually a young man aged 18 to 24 who uses it, especially in traffic lights, traffic jams and when he estimates that “the road is safe”. Asked about the reason for using and looking at the mobile while driving, the Spanish say it is to see "if they have something urgent", followed by "work reasons", "custom" and "boredom."
The Spaniards do not seem yet to be fully aware of the seriousness of the situation. 38% of Spaniards tolerate the driver talking on the mobile phone without hands-free; More than 9% believe that talking on the mobile phone "does not affect driving" and even almost 6% believe that the accident figures for improper use on the mobile phone are invented.
Communities with more drivers “hooked” to the mobile
By Autonomous Communities, motorists from Murcia, Galicia and Madrid support greater use of the smartphone while driving. Those of Asturias, Extremadura and La Rioja are the ones who do the least. The study of the Línea Directa Foundation has also detected a high degree of ignorance among Spanish drivers. 11 million motorists (40.5%) ignore what is allowed to do with a smartphone when driving, almost 320,000 believe that it is allowed to speak without hands-free when you drive the car and 80% are unaware of the amounts of the penalties.
In the last 5 years they have imposed almost a million fines for this reason and they have lost about 2.8 million points in the card, registering an increase of 13.2% in the last two years
To end this road safety problem, Spaniards are in favor of considering mobile use as a crime if an accident occurs due to its use (89%). Other proposals are to carry out specific police checks (87%), bet on the withdrawal of the driving license for recidivism (86%) and take specific courses against mobile addiction (84%).
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