[Smoking while driving and its consequences on road safety].

Scuola di Specializzazione in Igiene e Medicina Preventiva, 2 Facoltà di Medicina, Dipartimento di Scienze di Sanità Pubblica, Sapienza Università di Roma.
Annali di igiene: medicina preventiva e di comunità 01/2007; 19(3):253-67.
Source: PubMed


The study was focused on the risk assessment of distraction of smoking habits while driving vehicles. We have compared the results with the data about driving distraction using mobile phone without voice devices. We video-recorded 10 smokers, 4 male and 6 female, smoking while driving a car The average of measured driving distraction of smokers is about 12 seconds. It means to cover a distance of 160 metres with a speed of 50 Km/h. Comparing to the use of mobile phone, the data of driving distraction show a duration of 10.6 seconds, that means to cover a distance of 150 metres at the speed of 50 Km/h. This result suggest that cigarette smoking produces a remarkable risk for road safety, more than the mobile phone use. In addiction to the conditions that produce a considerable driving distraction of smokers, we underline a demonstrated shortage of oxygen, the presence of carbon monoxide and hight concentration offine particulate in the air breathed inside the vehicle. We also consider another aspect related to smoking habits while driving vehicles: the environmental damage. In fact throwing cigarette outside, while the vehicle is moving, is the prevalent reason of setting fire to the edge of the road. This study proposes to make changes in the laws and regulation on road safety in order to fine smokers behaviour during vehicle driving. Furthermore it seems necessary to promote public information about those risks among people.

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