Transport experts have warned that too much time spent on mobile phones while driving could have a negative impact on the health of the road user.
The Transport Advisory Committee has published a list of activities that could reduce the risk of falling asleep, which includes walking, taking the mobile phone, and using a portable device to read and write.
But they have also called for a more gradual introduction of a ‘smart’ device, with a ‘digital assistant’ on board.
They say this would encourage users to stay alert and not to get too excited about driving, especially during peak times.
The committee said that, when the traffic light changes, the mobile device should ring the engine, not just flash a green light.
It should also ring the horn, as this will give the operator enough time to get a reaction.
The committee says the device should also be able to call for help, to inform the operator of an accident, and to warn drivers about the need to avoid driving at night.
The panel also said that an app could also be developed to allow people to share their own driving advice, and share their results.
“There is a growing demand for a ‘Smartphone App’ that can take a snapshot of driving in a car and provide traffic advice, speed limits and road conditions in real time,” it said.
The report, entitled Driving with an App: a review of the literature, will be presented in London on February 15.
The TAC says the research showed that only about 15% of accidents were caused by distracted drivers.
The latest survey by the Institute for Advanced Motorists showed that more than 10% of motorists admitted to using their phone while driving.
The organisation says the findings showed that most people were able to manage distractions while driving safely.
“The key finding is that the vast majority of people who have an accident or are involved in an accident are able to do what they need to do while behind the wheel,” the TAC said in a statement.
“Driving is a skill that can be learned.
It is time to make the learning happen.”
The TACC said the research should be taken seriously and the UK Government should work with manufacturers to introduce an app that could provide more information on the risks associated with distracted driving.
“There are many more things that people can do to reduce the potential risk of distracted driving than just using their mobile phone while behind a wheel,” it added.
“A more informed approach to driving is needed.
We urge the Government to take the same action as they have taken with texting while driving.”