Mobile phones: a growing danger at the hands of drivers and pedestrians

Luchemos por la Vida (LxV) measured the use of mobile phones by drivers and pedestrians, the latter while crossing the streets. Distraction, be it at the wheel or while walking, adds more danger to daily traffic.

 

* 2942 private car drivers observed, working days, time frame from 10.00 to 18.00 hours, july/august 2014.

These figures are alarming, since they mean that among private cars that circulate in Buenos Aires daily (around 1.400.000), there are approximately 151.000 people using a mobile phone while driving, simultaneously and constantly, despite the express prohibition of art. 5.2.4, “e” from Law 2148 and 6.1.26 of Law 451 from the City of Buenos Aires, with the subsequent discount of 5 points from the driving license, and of art. 48, section “x” from the National Traffic Law  24.449.

 

** 3808 pedestrians observed, working days, time frame from 10.00 to 18.00 hours, august/september 2014.

For years, Science has been studying the important limitations our brain has to carry out two tasks that require attention at the same time, and researchers have proved how dangerous it is to drive while talking or messaging on the mobile phone, even with the hands-free system. Recent international studies have concluded that walking while talking on the mobile phone is very risky, since observed people display behaviours such as crossing more slowly, without looking at surrounding traffic and not waiting for vehicles to stop in order to start crossing, in a much larger proportion than those not using mobile phones. For pedestrians, the main real issue seems to be distraction, as it happens to drivers. And in the chaotic traffic of our country, this new habit shared by pedestrians and drivers does nothing but worsen the safety of all the users of the thoroughfare.

To know more, see in: “Celulares, un riesgo al volante”, en Revista Luchemos por la VidaNº 35, (in Spanish), on the website of this Organization.