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We are all well aware, no doubt, that the use of mobile phones 

We are all well aware, no doubt, that the use of mobile phones whilst driving is illegal, however thousands of users flout this law, many with grave consequences and many deaths have been attributed to the use of a mobile phone whilst driving.

One of the first and most important rules of driving SAFELY is to keep your eyes on the road and the traffic around you. From this we know that any distraction could be fatal and mobile phones with all their high tech innovations these days are probably one of the most significant distractions, perhaps along with children!

The International Auto mobile Federation along with RACC and RACE as well as other European clubs, are launching a campaign called #ParkyourPhone, with its ambassador being none other than the very famous singer Pharrell Williams, who has allowed his image to be used in photos and videos and promotional images. The campaign is quite simply to make all road users MORE aware of the dangers of using a phone whilst on the road or indeed walking so this campaign is directed at drivers, cyclists, bikers and pedestrians. There are reportedly approximately 3500 lives lost daily in traffic accidents where the use of a mobile phone is involved. Europe, has, as a whole done a lot to advance road safety, this includes technical improvements to vehicles using the roads as well as training for road users or infrastructure.

In Spain #AparcaTuMovil (park your mobile) joins other campaigns such as the one being run by RACE, Castrol and BP called #Stop Distractions whose aim it is to alert drivers to the risks of using a phone whilst driving. Under the hashtag #Stopchatear (stop chatting) more than 13 million Spanish drivers recignise that they have used messenger or such like to communicate whilst driving posing a grave hazard not only to themselves but to other road users.

There have been various studies carried out by many bodies with results that some may find very disturbing. The RACC has stated that talking on the phone multiplies by 4 the probability of an accident whilst drivers who text or write a message or e-mail are 23 times more likely to crash. Food for thought or common sense?

A study carried out by a Catalonia motor club showed that 26% of drivers admitted to using their mobiles “always or often” on their journeys and that the percentage of pedestrians polled increased to a staggering 47%. This very same study showed that 43% of drivers DO RECOGNISE the dangers of these actions and that pedestrians, who are in no way blameless in these actions, there are one in five who continue to text/message whilst using a crossing, therefore their attention is not on any potential hazards that may surround them.

Recommendations by the RACC relating to the use of mobile phones, are that applications should be able to block the use of a mobile whilst driving, require certification (such as ISO standard) to be able to standardise mobility related apps and thus identify them as safe and compatible with driving.

Summing up, the use of mobile phones is illegal when driving and can result in fines and points penalties at the very least, but on a more serious note they can also contribute to accidents and indeed to fatalities, injuries or even deaths.

Please think before reaching to answer/use your mobile whilst driving of the potential grave consequences that may occur. The same rule applies, when you are a pedestrian, as if you are not paying attention to where you are going you may injure another pedestrian , or if doing this whilst crossing a road, you may become a victim yourself.