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Mobile phones account for 20% of annual fatal road accidents worldwide

Curry Mildred 2022/09/19

  Mobile phones may have brought instant communication within the reach of all, but they are also fast turning into a global killer, accounting for 20 percent of fatal road accidents worldwide annually, half of which are on Indian highways alone.

  Pioneering new technology was developed by doctoral student Abdul Chair of the Anna Polytechnic Institute in Coimbatore and his colleague R.S.D. Wahidabanu and H.Abdul Zubar will prevent accidents by blocking mobile phones used by truck drivers in long-distance transport.

Mobile phones account for annual fatal road accidents worldwide

  “Lorry and heavy vehicle operators seldom keep their mobile phones switched off during such trips, but the distracting nature of the device, especially dialing a number, talking on the phone, or just holding a phone while driving can be an immediate hazard on roads, Shabeer told IANS from Chennai.

  As soon as the driver turns on the ignition, the jamming system will operate. The interfering device receives the radiation emitted by the telephone. The device can tell whether a mobile phone is being used by a driver or passenger.

  "Once the driver's mobile phone is detected, a low-frequency signal jammer will turn off the mobile phone without affecting other passengers' mobile phones. The system is vehicle driven, "says Shabeer, a computer science and engineering graduate from Chennyana University.

  "When a truck driver is on the phone, the braking response usually slows down. Statistically, they are more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than people who have their phones turned off,” said Chair, who used to work for IBM in Bangalore, India.

  “Besides, mobile phone use causes distractions that delay reactions to traffic signals, leads to poor lane discipline, and to drivers inadvertently shortening the gap between their vehicle and the one in front. All these factors will increase the probability of an accident.

  “The whole system, including the signal jammer, costs about R.2,500. Researchers are planning to commercialize this product.

  India is among the few countries that lose nearly three percent of its GDP to road accidents, Shabeer said.

  “Although it is a well-established fact that India accounts for the highest number of road accidents worldwide, there was no research on how many drivers using mobile phones were involved in road accidents. We conducted a survey involving more than 2,800 drivers. The survey results show that 20% of drivers in the world have been involved in accidents due to the use of mobile phones.

  Shabeeer worked on this project with Wahidabanu, the principal of the Government College of Engineering in Salem, Tamilnadu, and Zubar, a research scholar at the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Trichy. The project took nearly three years to develop.

  The technology can be used on all vehicles globally.

  Other systems operating abroad, unlike ours, do not distinguish between drivers and passengers using mobile phones. Our technology is groundbreaking.