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Survey shows excessive use of phones whilst driving

8 August 2017

The case for more public awareness and a better understanding of the risks is highlighted by a new survey published by Kwik Fit on 2 August  which suggests that a third of drivers are still using their mobile phone while at the wheel, despite the introduction of stronger penalties. The results of the survey suggest that 26% of drivers use their satnav or GPS on their phone, while 19% of respondents confessed to taking calls. 17% admitted to reading text messages. 16% of respondents said they make phone calls without a hands free set, with around 12% sending texts.

The survey also suggests that drivers aged 18-24 years are nearly three times more likely than the average motorist to believe it’s legal to use your phone when stopped at traffic lights, and twice as likely to say you can answer calls but not make outgoing ones.

The evidence available on a new survey published by Kwik Fit shows that:

  • The most recent observational count of mobile phone use whilst driving found that 1.6% of drivers in England and Scotland were observed using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving (DfT, 2015). Drivers were more likely to be holding the phone in their hand (1.1%) rather than holding it to their ear (0.5%). A higher proportion of drivers were observed using a hand-held mobile phone when stationary (2.3%) than in moving traffic (1.6%).
  • An observational study conducted by Sullman (2012) on UK public roads found 14.4% of drivers to be involved in some form of concurrent distraction. Talking to passenger(s) was the most common distraction (7.4%), followed by mobile phone use (2.2%), smoking (2.2%) and eating (1.1%).
  • The RAC report that 75% of motorists regularly observe other drivers speaking on their mobile phone while driving, although only 8% of drivers admit doing it themselves. Meanwhile, 53% of drivers report seeing other drivers texting or checking social media, with only 7% of drivers admitting doing it themselves (however, 15% of younger drivers aged between 17 and 24 admitted it) (RAC, 2014).

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