In a world which is obsessed with technology we have discussed more than one occasion the issues of technology and road safety. Technology can be used for the good and the bad when it comes to getting behind the wheel and new research carried out by the Institute of Advanced Motorists has found that the extent to which people are using their mobile devices whilst driving is more than a little bit shocking.
The research was commissioned by the IAM and took into account the opinions of 500 drivers on how they used their smartphones and tablets in their car. They found that drivers were doing everything from taking ‘selfies’ whilst driving to watching videos and making video calls. All of this acts are not only dangerous, they are against the law.
The results showed that from the 500 drivers 9% of them admitted to having taken a ‘selfie’ with this increasing to 15% in young drivers up to 24 and 19% in drivers aged 25-35. The results also showed that men are taking more ‘selfies’ at the wheel than women.
In terms of other uses of tech 8% of drivers admitted to driving whilst using video calling applications such as Skype or FaceTime and this again rose in younger drivers, with the 18-24 year old group reporting 16%.
Previous research by the IAM in 2012 found that using smartphones whilst driving is more dangerous than driving at the legal alcohol limit or even when under the influence of cannabis. Drivers in this study showed much slower reaction times, difficulty staying the right lane and less ability to adapt to even slow changes in circumstance.
TV as you Drive
The shocking statistics don’t stop there as a further 7% of drivers admitted to watching videos as well as streaming catch-up television and 18% have accessed the internet via their phone or table whilst driving.
This research comes at a time soon after police figures showed that the number of penalty points being given out for mobile phone use fell in 2014. It doesn’t seem to tally up well but the reasons the police reported for this fall, including the reduction in the number of officers on the beat, help to explain why this number may be lower than expected.
The use of mobile phones at the wheel never seems to be out of the news as drivers find new and inventive ways to ensure they are connected with their phones at all times. The dangers of using mobile phones are well documented, they do cause injuries and deaths, not only to the person using the mobile phone but others on the road. If you are involved in accident and were found to be using your phone and therefore responsible for the accident not only will you be subject to criminal proceedings, you will also potentially have a compensation claim from any other injured parties to deal with.