This has a name, mobile phone and WhatsApp ”. That is how direct Navarrese Pere, the general director of Traffic, spoke about the percentage of traffic accidents and deaths on Spanish roads during the Road Safety Commission held in Congress last June. An event in which we learned of elements such as the new HD cameras placed to obtain photos of the violators this summer, cameras so precise that they can catch you using your mobile.
Driving using the mobile
And it is that, although the typical ‘brother-in-law’ on duty starts saying “if I control” as a cheap excuse, using the mobile phone while driving is a direct cause of accidents, because it simply and simply distracts from a task that requires concentration / to. In itself, having a mobile phone in the car is very useful in times of emergency or breakdown, since “it allows information to be transmitted quickly and accurately to ask for help.”
However, the use of these devices while driving generates a high risk of distraction, being one of the main causes of accidents in our country. In fact, as a study by online insurance comparator Rastreator shows, 34.5% of Spaniards claim to use their mobile when they are behind the wheel, whether it be to consult the GPS, answer calls or read messages.
Half of young people use the mobile at the wheel
In the case of young people, the data is even worse, because lowering the age in the demographic by Eddes, we see that this use intensifies, since 49% of Spanish young people claim that they use their terminal behind the wheel. Specifically, 10% say they use it to send messages while driving, and 13% say they use it to read them.
However, it must be borne in mind that after a minute and a half talking on the mobile phone, even with hands-free, the driver stops perceiving 40% of the road signs, his average speed drops by 12% and it takes a long more in reacting to an unforeseen event.
In addition, if the driver is traveling at 120 kilometers per hour and at the same time writes a text message or answers a WhatsApp, he inadvertently travels 660 meters blindly. Fair enough to cause a fatal accident and take innocent lives with them that were not doing that stupid, but complying with the rules.
It will cost you twice as many card points
Still pending, the DGT continues with a proposal to reform the Traffic Law that experts such as Navarro consider necessary: the duplication of the sanction regarding the use of the smartphone. The General Directorate of Traffic plans to increase to 6 the loss of points for using the mobile, instead of the 3 that are currently withdrawn, a measure that has been in place since 2018.
After 14 years with the points card established in Spain since 2006, Navarro and his family want to review the system, update it to the current time when the smartphone has become an indispensable for everything. In 2006, there was no WhatsApp or social networks, so according to Navarro the incidence of mobile phone use in traffic accidents is so high that right now it is a “matter of maximum alarm”, and increasing penalties by removing more ID points for the same sanction is a reflection of this.
In this way, and taking into account that every driver has 12 points on his card, the DGT wants the recklessness of using WhatsApp while driving to cost the driver those 6 license points, half practically.