Mobile Phones and Driving

A substantial body of research shows that using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving is a significant distraction, and substantially increases the risk of the driver crashing.

Drivers who use a mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free:

  • are much less aware of what's happening on the road around them
  • fail to see road signs
  • fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed
  • are more likely to 'tailgate' the vehicle in front
  • react more slowly, take longer to brake and longer to stop
  • are more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic
  • feel more stressed and frustrated.

They are also four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and other people.

Using a hands-free phone while driving does not significantly reduce the risks because the problems are caused mainly by the mental distraction and divided attention of taking part in a phone conversation at the same time as driving. Our Mobile Phones and Driving Factsheet outlines the law relating to the use of mobile phones in a vehicle, concerns around the use of both hands-held and hands-free mobile phones while driving and issues around mobile phones that employers are advised to consider.


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