TRL’s Prof Parkes presents at PACTS UK Road Safety Summit – 18 March 2015, Mary Ward House, London

Distraction in vehicles due to misuse of technology is not a new phenomenon. Prof Andrew Parkes attempts to trace some of the history of the concerns with driver distraction and to show that evidence has existed since the 1960’s for the potential for phone conversations to disrupt safe driving. It will explore the differences between hand-held and hands-free conversations and also show how they differ from conversations held with car passengers. The size of the distraction potential is benchmarked against the impairment caused by alcohol.

The concept of dual or multi-tasking is challenged and evidence presented that shows that not only does a carphone conversation influence driving, the reverse is also true: driving changes the style, content and outcome of conversations and decision making.

The problem of phone use in vehicles is getting worse; recent evidence shows the dangers of texting and driving and must be set in the context of recent survey data that shows how often drivers are willing to use their handsets while on the move. Recent trends in smartphone usage for social media interaction and the forthcoming proliferation of smartwatches point to an urgent need to address methods of behavioural change focused on both the young and the business driver.

For more information contact:

Sarah Bailey

Tel: 01344 770141


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