An instant of distraction can make the difference between life and death. This is why the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and Dieter Liebrech Koch, with collaboration of RACC and RACE and other European automobile cluds are launching the #ParkYourPhone initiative.

European transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said that “With smartphones integrated into our lives, it seems so difficult to take our eyes of the screen. In fact, driving distracted is causing an increasing number of victims on the road.”

The message is unmistakeable: the best way to prevent an accident is, first and foremost, to have our eyes on the road and not any other element that can prevent us from driving with attention. Jean Tolt, president of the FIA, said that “road safety is one of my top priorities. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians need to understand the dangers of using smartphones in traffic. To combat the 3,500 lives lost daily in traffic accidents, I call on all road users to ‘park’ their phones when they are in traffic.”

The RACC emphasises that talking on the phone multiplies by four the probability of an accident and drivers who write a message are 23 times more likely to crash. In a study carried out by the Catalan motor club last year, 26% of drivers admitted to using their mobile ‘always or often’ on their journeys, A percentage that increases to 47% in the case of pedestrians.