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Driven to Distraction: The Truth about Driving and Mobile Phones

March 14, 2014

It’s less common since it became 100% illegal but chances are you still see people regularly driving on their mobile phones. As a company who regularly work with clients who have suffered road traffic accidents we know all too well how dangerous driving and dialling can be.

Driving and using your mobile phone can be fatal to you or other road users. 2003 was the year that using a mobile phone whilst driving was officially banned. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) researched and found that driving and dialling increased the risk of a crash occurring by as much as four times so something clearly had to change.

It only takes a microsecond lapse for a crash to occur.

Consequences of using Mobile Phones whilst Driving

If the police see you driving using your mobile phone then you’re at risk of a hefty fine, points on your license and some scenarios a driving ban. These will also result in increased insurance premiums.

Where an accident occurs due to mobile phone use whilst driving it is likely the driver will be confronted with criminal prosecution for driving without full care and attention or even dangerous driving.

More horrifying of course is the human cost. Causing injury or even death to other road users, your passengers or even yourself is not worth picking up the call.

Mobile Phones and Driver Concentration Levels

Using your mobile phone diverts your attention from the road and RoSPA even argue that hands-free mobile phone usage should be banned. Engaging in an important conversation whilst driving effects your concentration and utilising the hands free still requires some activation, adding another layer to the diversions keeping your eyes and mind off the road.

When Think! carried out their annual survey they found some pretty conclusive beliefs regarding mobile phone use. The stand out view was that using a mobile to send a text message whilst driving was the most dangerous phone behaviour. The next most dangerous behaviour was using a mobile phone to make calls (without a hands free kit) whilst 29% of participants still thought using a hands free kit was dangerous.

To avoid accidents it’s best to keep Think!’s three key guidelines in mind:

  1. Don’t make or answers calls or texts of any kind whilst driving
  2. Pull over and park up in a safe place before using your mobile
  3. Don’t call anybody you know is on the road driving

This guidance includes all kinds of messages from that important work email to your latest Facebook like – it can all wait until you get to your destination. The alternative is too much to risk.

There are many agencies working to keep the roads safe but they need regular drivers to abide by the laws too. As we handle road traffic accident claims on a daily basis we really do know how damaging they can be.