Mobile phones and distractions
Highlighting the dangers and consequences of using a mobile phone while driving.
Anatomy of a split second
Our campaign highlights the consequences of using a mobile phone while driving. It’s the biggest cause of driver distraction.
When you use your mobile behind the wheel, taking your mind and eyes off the road for just a split second, it can destroy everything forever.
The campaign focuses on that split second when everything can change. It shows a series of actions, split seconds caught in a loop, the consequences are harmless. However, as our focus moves to the road, we see that a driver is texting on his mobile phone while driving. In that split second we see that a collision with a family is devastatingly imminent.
So the next time you’re driving and you hear your phone beep, ask yourself, would it kill you to put it away?
- According to international research distracted driving could be a factor in as many 20-30% of all collisions in this country. This means that driver distraction could be a contributory factor in over 1,400 fatal and injury collisions annually.
The driver attitude and behaviour survey 2021 showed;
- 19% use their mobile phone at least sometimes while driving to read messages/emails
- 13% use their mobile phone at least sometimes while driving to write messages/emails
- 23% use their mobile phone at least sometimes while driving to check phone notifications
- 12% use their mobile phone at least sometimes while driving to check social media
- 9% use their mobile phone at least sometimes while driving to respond to social media posts
- 7% use their mobile phone at least sometimes while driving to take photos/videos to share on social media
Note, at least sometimes includes answer options: always, often, and sometimes.
Of motorists surveyed, before setting off to drive
- 6% regularly turn their mobile phone off
- 17% regularly switch their mobile phone to silent/ airplane mode
- 45% regularly place their mobile phone out of sight
- 63% regularly practice at least one of these safe behaviours, while 37% do not regularly practice any of these safe behaviours.
Note, regularly in this context means “at least once a week”.
Driver Attitude and Behaviour Survey 2021
Sample size: 1,220 motorists aged 17+
Fieldwork conducted in November 2021
You are four times more likely to be involved in a collision, if you use a mobile phone while driving’*
* World Health Organisation 2021 Road traffic injuries (who.int)
Drivers spend up to 400% more time with their eyes off the road when text messaging than when not text messaging (Hosking, Young, & Regan, 2006, Monash University, Australia).
Mobile phones potentially distract a driver in several ways (Dragutinovic & Twisk, 2005, p. 24):
- Physically: instead of focusing on the physical tasks required by driving (e.g. steering or gear changing), drivers have to use one or both of their hands to manipulate the phone.
- Visually: mobile phones could visually distract drivers in two ways:
- Firstly, drivers have to move their eyes from the road and focus on the mobile phone in order to be able to use it.
- Secondly, while talking on a mobile phone, even if drivers’ eyes are focused on the road, they 'look but do not see'.
- Auditory: the focus of drivers' attention moves from the road environment to the sounds of the mobile phone and the conversation. This particularly applies when the sound quality is poor.
- Cognitively: instead of focusing their attention and thoughts on driving, drivers divert their attention and focus on the topic of the phone conversation
Our TV and radio ads highlight the consequences of using a mobile phone while driving.
RSA Mobile Phone Driving pdf | 1534 KB
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