Sweden could ban mobiles behind the wheel

The Swedish National Road Administration is set to once again study the effects of mobile phone use while driving, after reports have trickled in during the past few years showing phone use is more of a safety hazard than previously thought.

“Reports have come in recent years that show there might be big risks with mobile telephones,” said Ingemar Skogö, general director of the Administration, according to Swedish Television.

The Administration is now considering that speaking on the phone while driving is a bigger danger than previously though, and said it will begin investigation the topic this autumn to determine whether a prohibiting the use of mobiles while driving is needed.

Many other countries forbid talking on phones while driving, and recent studies show the risk while driving is greater than was believed to be the case.

The Swedish Road Administration said an earlier study it did showed phone use while driving was more or less the same as the distraction caused by children fighting in the back seat. It decided phone use was no more of a danger than other forms of disruption while driving.

A study published earlier this summer in the United States showed that driving while on the phone was worse than driving drunk.

“As a society, we have agreed on not tolerating the risk associated with drunk driving,” said researcher Frank Drews, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Utah, according to HealthDay News. “This study shows us that somebody who is conversing on a cell phone is exposing him or herself and others to a similar risk – cell phones actually are a higher risk,” he said.

Skogö said he eager to see the future results.

“You have to constantly have an open mind and see if there is new information that shows another test is needed,” he said.