Feeds

Take away bad drivers' mobile phones, they still crash their cars

Jalopy-jabber crackdown achieves diddly squat - study

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Chinese researchers reckon its bad drivers who cause accidents, not the phones they're using at the time, and that banning in-car use doesn't reduce accident figures significantly.

The state-sponsored study was triggered by disappointing results from bans on mobile usage, which haven't reduced accidents as much as had been hoped, so rather than blame lackadaisical policing the researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science tried to identify the kind of person who makes calls while driving, and discovered they're pretty accident prone anyway.

We're grateful to Tech in Asia for the translation, which tells us that "frequent phone users indeed drove more dangerously than occasional phone users did, driving faster and more erratically, making more violent turns and overtaking more other drivers".

Drivers do have accidents while talking on the phone, which has led to bans on holding a telephone while talking and sending text messages - despite the existence of perfectly-good laws on "due care and attention" already. But now the Chinese Institute of Psychology, working with US counterparts, has surveyed drivers and discovered a close correlation between those who use a phone when driving, and those who drive dangerously even when not distracted.

The scale of the study isn't clear, and there's not yet a peer-reviewed paper to back up the claims, but the approach is interesting and it's true in other nations that bans on phone use haven't led to any great drop in accident statistics.

New laws banning phones and texting (as opposed to careless driving) are largely a political move - allowing authorities to be seen to be doing something without spending any money. If the Chinese results apply in other countries then the high-cost alternatives - better roads, more driver training, in-car surveillance by the insurance companies to prevent reckless driving - will have to be applied, at least until the cars can drive themselves. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.