Survey underlines increased threat of drivers distracted by mobile phones on UK roads
The fear of other drivers being distracted by their mobile phones has topped the list of motorists’ road safety concerns, according to a survey published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists charity, RoadSmart, this week.
IAM RoadSmart’s annual Safety Culture Survey was produced for the first time in 2015 and looks at changes in safety attitudes and behaviour amongst UK motorists.
In the 2016 survey of 2,000 UK drivers, the threat posed by drivers using their mobile phone behind the wheel was ranked above increased congestion on our roads, aggressive driving and drink or drug-driving as the biggest concern for motorists. 86% of drivers surveyed also felt that incidents of people using mobiles whilst driving have increased over the last three years – more than any of the other threats.
Respondents to the survey also voiced their approval for stricter measures to prevent drivers using mobile technology in cars, with 97% strongly supporting a law banning reading, typing, or sending a text message or email while driving and 67% strongly supporting a ban on the use of any type of mobile phone while driving, hand-held or hands-free.
David Robinson is a Senior Serious Injury Solicitor at Thompsons who supports a revision of the laws around the use of hands-free mobile phones in cars.
“After years of representing families whose loved ones have been killed or injured as a result of serious traffic collisions, there is no doubt that the irresponsible use of mobiles behind the wheel has become more and more of a problem and serious action needs to be taken to tackle it.
“Technology has a role to play, with the use of dash-cams helping to strengthen enforcement, but it will take stricter laws, as well as better education, to stem the tide. While it is encouraging to see that motorists are recognising the problem, far too many are still doing it and until we see a culture-change that makes using a phone while driving socially unacceptable, it is going to remain a real danger on our roads.”
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