Drivers of four wheel drive vehicles are more likely to flout laws regarding mobile phones and seat belts than drivers of other cars, finds a study published on bmj.com today.
This is a major public health concern and greater efforts are needed to educate the public and enforce these laws, argue the authors.
The study took place at three different sites in Hammersmith, West London. Private passenger vehicles were observed Monday to Friday for one hour in the morning (9-10 am), afternoon (1-2 pm), and early evening (4-5 pm).
The first observations were carried out in February 2004, within the "grace" period regarding use of hand held mobile phones, during which police only cautioned offenders. Observations were repeated one month later, after police began to impose penalties for non-compliance with the new law.
A total of 38,182 normal cars and 2,944 four wheel drive vehicles were included in the analysis. Overall, almost one in six drivers (15.3%) was not wearing a seat belt and one in 40 (2.5%) was using a hand held mobile phone while he or she passed the observer.
Drivers of four wheel drive vehicles were almost four times more likely than drivers of other cars to be seen using hand held mobile phones. They were also more likely not to comply with the law on seat belts.
Levels of non-compliance with both laws were slightly higher in the penalty phase of observation than during the grace period, and breaking one law was associated with an increased likelihood of breaking the other.
"Our data show a worryingly high level of non-compliance with laws on seat belts and hand held mobile phones by drivers in London, and almost no effect of the end of the grace period on the use of a mobile phone while driving," write the authors. "Our observation that almost one in six drivers was not wearing a seatbelt is a major public health concern," they add.
The findings also support the theory of risk compensation, which predicts that drivers of four wheel drive vehicles feel safer and therefore take more risks when driving.
Although four wheel drive vehicles are safer in a crash, their owners may be placing themselves and other road users at increased risk of injury, warn the authors.
Emma Dickinson | EurekAlert!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy