12 February 2010

Children More Dangerous Than Mobile Phones

Felix and Daddy in Chatellion Plage
Children are more dangerous than mobile phones

There is a lot of focus in Denmark and elsewhere about using mobile photos whilst driving. It's the cause-du-jour at the moment, it seems.

A report from the Technical University of Denmark [DTU] was published yesterday that shows that talking on the mobile occupies a third place on the list of dangerous things to do whilst driving.

The researchers estimate that a third of all traffic accidents are caused by lack of attention.

According to the report, talking with others in the car is more dangerous and most likely to remove the driver's focus on the traffic. One sixth of the accidents caused by lack of concentration [aren't ALL accidents caused by lack of concentration?] are because the driver had contact with passengers. Especially children in the car are a major distraction.

Next on the list is adjusting the radio or music system. In third place it's the mobile phone. In fourth it's adjusting the car's climate system and in fifth place it's drivers eating or drinking at the wheel.

Senior Researcher Mette Møller from DTU Transport believes that the new data should be used in future campaigns:

"What it is that distracts us isn't important. The circumstances are are equal. If you're driving on clear roads in light traffic it's okay to eat a sandwich. On the other hand it can be dangerous to engage in conversation with your passengers or listen to music blasting at high volume if you're driving in heavy traffic."

Personally, I would have hoped that their conclusions were the necessity of further investment in public transport and positive campaigns to encourage more citizens to choose the bicycle. I'm realising that such things are increasingly occupying space in my wishful thinking box.