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DEADLY HABIT...MOBILE CALL ANSWERING ON DRIVE

Nearly 60 per cent of two-wheeler users "instinctively" answer mobile phones on ride while 14 per cent of pedestrians click selfies crossing the road, finds out a survey. Sixty four per cent pedestrians regularly do this and 18 per cent immediately respond to a call from their superior at work, even while switching sides on the road. That is only one part of the story. One in every three car drivers tends to send out an important text message, stated the survey conducted by consumer goods maker Samsung across 12 cities in India. There is one road accident in every four minutes in India, it added, citing government data. "11 per cent of two-wheeler riders would always answer their phone when on the road, regardless of who was calling, 30 per cent would respond to calls from family while 18 per cent of the riders responded to work-related calls," it added. In addition, 23 per cent of two-wheeler riders admitted to reading and replying to texts or social media updates if the message they received was considered important.
"Among respondents, 80 per cent say they are very concerned about the number of children they have seen crossing the road while on the phone and 68 per cent admit to seeing truck and bus drivers using their phones behind the wheel," said the survey. A joint report by Carnegie Mellon University, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, and the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, the survey stated that India accounts for over 50 per cent of selfie-related fatalities in the world today. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said: "Irresponsible use of mobile phones, including the new trend of taking selfies on the road, is becoming one of the major causes of road accidents today. We want to bring down the annual road accident fatality figure of 1.5 lakh, which is the highest in the world, by 50 per cent." Around 55 per cent respondents think mobile phone companies should employ technology to prevent misuse of mobile phones on the road, said the survey, which is based on 1,341 respondents aged between 15 and 60. The survey is commissioned by Samsung as part of its 'Safe India' campaign, which is part of its drive to spread awareness about the dangers of irresponsible usage of mobile phones, including taking selfies on the road. The company has recently pledged its support to the ministry's drive to bring down road accidents, especially those arising out of irresponsible use of mobile phones.

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