Mobile Phones

There is an increased likelihood that drivers who use a mobile phone illegally behind the wheel will be involved in a crash that results in injury1

Texting or talking on the phone, even legally through hands-free: 

  • Impairs your ability to stay in your lane and maintain the appropriate speed. 
  • Result in longer reaction times to unexpected events and traffic signals.
  • Reduce your field of vision increasing the risk of your involvement in a crash.
  • Impair your ability to judge distances and gaps in traffic
  • Increase your mental workload, and in turn levels of stress and frustration
  • Reduce your awareness of what is happening around you. 
 

What’s the safest option? 

By law, a driver in WA can touch a mobile phone in a secure mounting to accept or end a call but talking on your mobile phone legally via hands-free is also a distraction1
Some mobile phone manufacturers have inbuilt technology that stops incoming calls and texts while you are driving, and there are apps and devices that block mobile phone activity in the car. 
Switch your phone to silent and put it out of reach in the glove box or back seat, but the safest option is to turn your mobile phone off before you get behind the wheel. 
 
References 
  1. Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study. McEvoy SP1, Stevenson MR, McCartt AT, Woodward M, Haworth C, Palamara P, Cercarelli R. (2005)