The claim often made in the media, that mobile phone use while driving is more dangerous than drink driving, is based on mistaken assumptions and an incomplete review of the research in this area.

The repeated public claims that mobile phone tasks, including using legal hands-free devices, are as dangerous as drink driving are not supported by the latest scientific evidence and run the risk of de-stigmatising the very dangerous practice of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The incorrect claim originates from a 1997 study which was misinterpreted by the media. The confusion about the study’s findings led to the researchers publishing several follow-up letters and articles to correct the misunderstanding.

More recently, naturalistic studies of real world drivers using in car cameras has shown talking and listening to a mobile phone is not nearly as risky as driving while drunk – even at or around the legal blood alcohol limit.

Click here for more information about false drink driving comparisons.


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