"It's difficult to translate the risks caused by mobile phone use while driving in concrete figures, but we assume that a driver using the telephone shortly to make a call, sees the risk to get involved in an accident increase three to four times", the BIVV states.
Sending a message lifts this risk by as much as 23 times, because drivers lose all eye contact with the road.
Belgium had 637 road deaths in 2016, and over 51,000 injured motorists. Distraction is said to play a role in 5 to 25 percent of the cases. "This means that our estimation is a very careful one."
Drivers under 35 are the worst pupils. Some 23 percent is using the smartphone at least once during a ride.