Ford, Brake Suggest Changing Glove Box Name to Phone Box to Encourage Safer Driving
For even the most disciplined drivers, the temptation provided by mobile phones is great. In the UK, for example, data from the Department for Transport suggests that there has been a 79% increase in collisions where mobile phones were a contributing factor since 2012, and that fatalities cause by phone-related collisions have risen by 88%.
To combat this alarming trend, Ford is teaming with road safety charity Brake for a new campaign that rechristens the glove box the “phone box” in the hopes that drivers will stow their phones and avoid the temptation to use them while driving.
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Ford and Brake commissioned a study of their own, finding that roughly 40% of drivers do not know the historical intention of the glove box—storing gloves, of course, a common accessory for the days where most vehicles were topless. With 20% saying that their glove boxes have been relegated to little more than garbage storage, Ford and Brake felt that they would be better served as storage spaces for pesky mobile devices.
To help promote the idea, Ford handed out #MyNewPhoneBox stickers at its Driving Skills for Life event at ExCeL in London. Sticker or no, the idea of using the glove box as a dedicate phone box is one that deserves consideration from drivers who use their phones when behind the wheel.
“We provide essential support to people across the UK who, just like Imogen [Cauthery], have been devastated by road collisions,” said Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns, Public Affairs and Media for Brake. “Working with the Ford DSFL program to educate new drivers on the importance of driver distractions is the great fit for Brake as we see such shocking data on a daily basis. Driving requires 100% of our concentration or the cost could be a human life. This starts with putting your mobile phone out of sight when entering the car.”
Cauthery, a Brake ambassador and spokesperson, was injured when she was nine years old by a driver using their mobile phone.
“There is so much evidence around the dangers of mobile phone use and yet new penalties still aren’t tough enough. I want so much more from my life that I cannot have because of my injuries,” she said. “I have two lives, my first one from 1987-1996 and my second one from 1996 onwards. I want my first life back, but that can never happen because someone couldn’t wait to make a phone call.”