People With Nomophobia Are 85% More Likely To Use Phones While Driving
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Researchers have warned that people with nomophobia – the fear of being without your smartphone – are far more likely to use their phones while driving.
Scholars behind a new study went as far as to say their findings prove nomophobia is ‘a risk to road safety’.
Out of 2773 participants, those who scored highly for nomophobia were 85% more likely to pick up their phone while behind the wheel.
The study, carried out by researchers at Monash University and published on Science Direct, also found that men were 20% more likely to use their phone than women.
Meanwhile, participants aged 60 or over were 92% less likely to use their phone while driving than 18-25 year olds.
More than 2,000 Australians took part in the study, with their levels of nomophobia assessed by questionnaire.
Researchers concluded: “This study found that nomophobia severity predicted the likelihood of illegal smartphone use while driving. [...] The fear of being without a smartphone is a risk to road safety.”
On using devices while driving, the UK government’s website states: “It’s illegal to hold and use a phone, sat nav, tablet, or any device that can send or receive data, while driving or riding a motorcycle.
“This means you must not use a device in your hand for any reason, whether online or offline.
“For example, you must not text, make calls, take photos or videos, or browse the web.”
The website notes that the law still applies if you’re ‘stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic, supervising a learner driver, driving a car that turns off the engine when you stop moving or holding or using a device that’s offline or in flight mode’.
In November, it was announced that UK drivers could face fines for scrolling through playlists on handheld devices from 2022 as part of a government crackdown on road safety.
The new laws came into effect on 25 March, and mean motorists can get six points on their licence or be fined £200 for touching their devices while driving.
Speaking last year, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "By making it easier to prosecute people illegally using their phone at the wheel, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st Century while further protecting all road users.
"While our roads remain among the safest in the world, we will continue working tirelessly to make them safer, including through our award-winning THINK! campaign, which challenges social norms among high-risk drivers."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy