Love on the move: WhatsApp, PokémonGo and Tinder used by drivers

 

Finnish drivers have been found to use WhatsApp, PokémonGo and even Tinder while behind the wheel, and 'heavy' smartphone users will often turn to messaging services like WhatsApp when in a traffic jam.

A study by the University of Jyväskylä in Finland is thought to be the first to track how and why drivers use their smartphones while on the move, revealing not only extensive use but also greater use in dense traffic on urban roads.

It is illegal in the UK to hold a phone or sat nav while driving or riding a motorcycle and is punishable by six penalty points and a £200 fine. You’ll also lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last two years. The law still applies if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

The 'naturalistic' study monitored drivers in their natural settings while interfering as little as possible.

”Local

The median number of touches on the smartphone while on the move was 41 per hour, covering a range of 8 to 481, with two drivers averaging more than 400 touches per hour.

'It seems that some of the heavy users accept the risks resulting from the high levels of visual-manual distraction. The greatest smartphone-based risks in traffic seem to be caused by messaging applications,' the study found.

'By far the highest overall rankings in the number of drivers using phones, the number of uses, and the duration of use were associated with the WhatsApp messaging service. One instance of WhatsApp use had a median of eight touches and a median duration of 35seconds. In contrast, an instance of navigation application use included a median of three touches and lasted for 11 seconds.'

The road type had an effect on phone use, the study found, revealing that drivers 'produced more touches per hour on urban roads, even if the phone use instances tended to be shorter in cities than on the highway or main roads'. Researchers also stated that 'heavy smartphone users even increased their phone use in dense traffic'.

The study also found that four drivers 'used PokémonGo so heavily that the application rose to sixth on the list of the most frequently used applications by the total number of touches'.

Could this mean these drivers were actually using their car to hunt the fantastic beasts and in doing so taking this dangerous habit to a whole new level of stupidity? The researchers didn't say.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
transport network jobs

Development Control Engineer Level 4

Worcestershire County Council
£35,995 - £38,649 per annum
Open for Business The Environment Children and Families Health and Well-Being Worcestershire
Recuriter: Worcestershire County Council

CIVIL/STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Torridge District Council
Up to £34,106 per annum plus relocation package up to £8,000
Looking for an experienced civil/structural engineer providing strategic feasibility and design advice to the authority Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Highway Project Engineer

City of London
Up to £42,870 per annum (inclusive of London Weighting) depending upon performance.
The Department of Built Environment is responsible for the delivery of highway and drainage schemes within the City of London London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: City of London

Graduate Transport Planner

Cambridgeshire County Council
£17,681 - £23,111
EXCITING GRADUATE OPPORTUNITY Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Engineer Maintenance

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
Liverpool City Council are looking to recruit an Engineer Maintenance Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Tree Services Programme Manager

Nottingham City Council
£37,107
You will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the Council's trees and woods, and will provide professional advice to others Woodthorpe, Nottingham
Recuriter: Nottingham City Council

Transport Coordinator

Camden London Borough Council
£32,473 to £37,670
We have an exciting opportunity for 2 highly customer focused Transport Coordinators to work in the busy Camden Transport Team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Highway Electrical Supervisor (Highway Maintenance)

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,657 to £28,221
The post will support two Senior Lighting Engineers in leading and contributing to the delivery of the Street Lighting function for the Authority Bootle, Merseyside
Recuriter: Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Flood Risk Management Engineer

London Borough of Bexley
£31,353 to £36,876
We are currently seeking a Flood Risk Management Engineer who will have a lead role with the Flood Risk and Development Team Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Senior Engineer (Traffic Signal Improvements)

Lincolnshire County Council
£34,106 - £38,052
This is a superb opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire our engineering team working on traffic signal improvement projects. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Engineer (Traffic Signal System and Operations)

Lincolnshire County Council
£34,106 - £38,052
This is a superb opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire our engineering team working on traffic signal systems and operations. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Engineer (Traffic Signals)

Lincolnshire County Council
£42,806 - £49,441
Do you want to lead, manage and motivate a team of engineers working at the cutting edge of technology? Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Nuisance Control Officer

Brent Council
£38,040 - £40,086 p.a. inc. + £4,800 shift allowance p.a.
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Rights of Way Search Officer - Highways Services

Bridgend County Borough Council
£7,188 - £7,327 per annum
We are seeking someone to assist in maintaining, developing and promoting the Definitive Map for Bridgend Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Countryside Access Maintenance Officer - Highways Services

Bridgend County Borough Council
£12,644 - £13,015 per annum
We are seeking someone to assist in ensuring that the local rights of way network is protected, well maintained and enjoyed... Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Principal Transport Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£37,320 to £40,198
The role will require close dialogue with developers and their agents and necessitate strong partnership working with District Councils... Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Project Engineer

North Yorkshire County Council
up to £33,136
Are you a qualified Highways Project Engineer? Would you like to work in the famous James Herriot area of natural beauty? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Officer Highways and Transport

North Yorkshire County Council
£28,2281 p.a.
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Regional Strategy Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
Band 15 – up to £41,846
Are you an experienced Transport Planner? Do you have exceptional communication skills to build relationships within teams? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Area Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
up to £53,113 p.a. winter allowance plus 10% one off additional payment for exceptional candidates
Four Area Highway Managers roles available York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council