New technology the key to improving driver safety

NEW technology as opposed to new laws is believed to be the key to improving driver safety while using mobile phones in cars, says a Queensland University of Technology researcher.

Professor Simon Washington from the university's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety said a new law in New South Wales requiring drivers to use Bluetooth or put their phone in a cradle was unlikely to deter drivers speaking on the phone.

"This means a New South Wales driver using a mobile phone in speaker mode on their lap is still breaking the law, even if they still have both hands on the wheel," he said.

"Most studies have shown that driving using hands-free devices is as dangerous as using hand held devices, so it is doubtful that this new law will improve the safety of drivers still making calls."

He said motorists had to intelligently harness the same technologies that were distracting drivers.

"We are seeing new vehicles now with warning devices and sensors that alert us when we are fatigued, driving too closely behind another car, and failing to brake quickly enough," Prof Washington said.

Do you use your mobile while driving?

This poll ended on 11 November 2012.

Current Results

Yes, I use it to make or receive calls without a hands-free device and/or texting while driving.


No, I never use my phone while driving without hands-free technology.


I sometimes use my phone for calls and messaging without a hands-free device while driving.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.