According to a recent study carried out by Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, young drivers using their smartphone or cellphone behind the wheel are probably familiar to other dangerous driving behaviours. Talking or texting on a smartphone while driving correlates with a whole range of dangerous driving practices for many novice drivers.
The team at Lero surveyed around 700 young drivers in Germany about smartphone use and driving behavior, around the age of 21.
"Driver distraction issue [...] became much more important since a smartphone became a focal part of young people's everyday life," claims study author Tim Jannusch, researcher at the Institute for Insurance Studies of TH Köln in Germany and PhD student at the University of Limerick in Ireland.
Though the study focused on young drivers in Germany, it may point to potentially risky behavior in other countries, including UK and Ireland.
Study data showed a moderately strong correlation between driving about 12 miles per hour over the speed limit in urban areas and talking on a cellphone. Also, a sizable number of young drivers hid their phones while driving, deliberately disobeying the law, the European researchers said. These attitudes can have fatal consequences for the drivers themselves and others on the road.
David Reich, public relations director for the National Road Safety Foundation in New York City, commented on the study claiming it's important to have public education and behavior modeling that helps make talking and texting while driving as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving, with tough laws on cellphone use while driving, enforcement and public education.