x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Phone headsets snubbed by drivers

More than 60 per cent of drivers do not use headsets, a survey on social media forums reveals.

DUBAI // Thousands of motorists still risk being in a serious road accident by not using a hands-free kit with mobile phones.

More than 60 per cent of drivers do not use headsets, revealed a survey on social media forums by Zarca Interactive.

The study also found that one in three motorists will answer a call or dial someone while driving.

Of the 444 drivers surveyed, 43.92 per cent said they talk on their phones while driving. Just 31.76 per cent said they never used a phone behind the wheel.

The survey was conducted on Twitter, Facebook and by email. Men made up 84.43 per cent of the respondents.

Dubai Police and the Roads and Transport Authority launched a campaign earlier this year to clamp down on drivers who text.

"There seems to be a direct correlation between the changing behavioural patterns of drivers in key road-safety variables, such as the use of seat belts and child seats, with the raft of intensive awareness campaigns launched by the Government and the police forces across the Emirates in recent years," said George Kotsolios, joint managing director of GolinHarris, a Dubai communications agency.

Marie Smyth, 43, of South Africa, said she always uses a hands-free kit when driving.

"It's habit. I make most of my calls while driving. When I don't have my hands-free kit, I try not to answer or make calls," she said. "It is easy to lose concentration."

The survey also found that 58.78 per cent of motorists use their hazard lights in fog, which police discourage.

eharnan@thenational.ae