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!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering