The authors of the study hope companies will talk to employees about the risks associated with distracted driving, and institute policies that will discourage them from using their cell phones while in the car.
The study found that 75 percent of the participants talk on cell phones hands-free, and almost 90 percent of them consider themselves capable or very capable drivers while doing so. Less than 30 percent of participants knew that talking on a hands-free phone increases the risk of crashing to the same degree as driving at the legal alcohol limit, according to the study which was published in the Journal of Transport and Health.
“We weren’t surprised to see that relatively few people understand the risks of distracted driving,” said Jessa Engelberg, lead author of the study, in a press release. “What we were really interested in was whether factors like children and work obligations had an effect on people’s behavior.”
Apparently they do not. Middle-aged drivers continued to use their mobile phones with kids in the car and more than one-third of the participants said they felt pressure to answer a call from the office.
Maybe what we need is an app that automatically turns off our phones when we start up the ignition?