Despite behind the wheel distractions accounting for six per cent of all fatal accidents, a staggering 57 per cent of drivers admit to feeling just as “in control as normal” when using their mobile phones. This is according to the shocking results of a nationwide survey by Motoring.co.uk, the UK’s largest independent automotive website.
Terry Hogan, Motoring.co.uk’s Managing Director, says: “We understand that mobile phone use is a huge part of our everyday lives, but it’s evident from this survey that drivers underestimate how much they are distracted by them. This may come as a worry to firms that rely on a fleet of drivers to carry out their business, but fortunately car manufacturers are responding with more sophisticated technology integration. In the meantime, it’s clear that better driver education is needed, as well as harsher penalties.”
As a leading authority on data and analytics around driving, Motoring.co.uk, which has 2.1 million registered users, was of the opinion that many drivers were failing to recognise the dangers of using mobile phones and decided to conduct its own research, which reinforced its beliefs.
The research of nearly 1,200 drivers (1,188) also revealed that 43 per cent of motorists would not hesitate to use their mobile phone while behind the wheel. The survey highlighted that almost a quarter of motorists (24 per cent) use their mobile phones while driving at high speeds.
Terry adds: “We appreciate the honesty of the people who completed our survey and understand that many of them are safe and capable drivers. However, a large percentage clearly aren’t understanding the dangers and we hope that these results will make motorists realise that a mobile phone is a potentially lethal weapon. We want to bring the love of driving back to peoples’ journeys and this won’t happen unless our roads are made safer.”
In Britain, the Department for Transport reported in 2013 – the latest data available – that there were 2,995 collisions where distraction in the vehicle – such as using mobile phones – was listed as a contributory factor, making up three per cent of all accidents. Of these, 92 were fatal, equating to six per cent of all fatal accidents (1,587).
A Government proposal – to be consulted on in 2016 – will seek to address this by increasing penalty points for using mobile phones while behind the wheel from three to four and raising the fine from £100 to £150.
-57 per cent of drivers admit to feeling just as “in control as normal” when using their mobile phones while driving
-43 per cent of motorists would not hesitate to use their mobile phone while behind the wheel
-72 per cent of people take the time to use their phone while stopped in traffic or at lights
-59 per cent of drivers use their mobile phone during normal driving
-44 per cent of people use their phones at low speed
-24 per cent use their mobile phones while travelling at high speeds on the motorway
-15 per cent of people admitted to answering calls directly on a hand-held phone
-24 per cent of drivers check SMS directly on their phone
-16 per cent of motorists check emails or notifications on a hand-held phone
-31 per cent of people see someone using a mobile phone while driving during the majority of their car journeys
-30 per cent of drivers feel that mobile phone usage while driving has become more prevalent over the past 12 months
-38 per cent think mobile phone use while driving has stayed on the same level
-2 per cent of people are of the opinion that mobile phone usage in the past year is much less prevalent.