Allianz research shows hands-free mobiles not safer for drivers

4 June, 2007

Last week’s decision by the Supreme Court of South Australia rejecting an appeal against a fine for using a mobile phone while driving, even though the phone was being used hands-free, highlights the distinction between the distraction from operating a phone and the distraction caused by the call itself.

Following the assessment of research on the risks associated with having a phone conversation while driving, safety experts at the Allianz Centre for Technology have warned of the safety risks caused by processing phone calls while driving.

“A considerable amount of research provides evidence that drivers being distracted by a phone conversation have a higher risk of being involved in an accident. Moreover, all the studies in this area concur that the problem of driver distraction is not solved by using hands-free devices”, says Nicholas Scofield, General Manager Corporate Affairs.

According to Mr Scofield, research has shown that even using hands-free kits, the following driver impairment occurs when drivers are having a phone conversation:

“All recent studies provide evidence that using a mobile phone while driving increases accident risk and, while hands-free devices offer a small safety advantage, they are not capable of solving the problem of mental distraction during a phone conversation. For safety reasons it is highly recommended to pull over and stop the car to engage in a phone conversation,” Mr Scofield said.

Media enquiries:
Nicholas Scofield
Allianz Australia Ltd
Ph. 0416 088 414

Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance, home insurance and Life insurance.