One in eight Brits have used their phone behind the wheel in the past 12 months, despite the fact it’s been illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving for a decade.
The shocking statistic was uncovered by Brake and Direct line, who – in a survey of UK drivers – found that three in ten motorists admitted to sending or reading texts while on the road. What’s more, 4% of those people said they do so several times a week.
The survey also looked at the way in which people use their phones legally behind the wheel. Finding that 32% of us have used our mobile phone whilst using a hands-free device in the past 12 months, Brake believes that this can be just as dangerous as using a hand-held device.
The road safety charity claim that talking on a phone (whether hand-held or hands-free) can actually be worse than drinking certain amounts of alcohol. Having asked the drivers surveyed, however, they found that only 36% believed that there should be a total ban on phones while driving, while 60% believed using a hands-free phone should remain legal. A further 4% thought both hand-held and hands-free phones should be legal.
“Using a hands-free phone while driving can end and ruin lives”
Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive at Brake, said: “It is shocking that, ten years after the ban, one in eight drivers continues to flout the law and put lives in danger by using a hand-held mobile at the wheel. Just as worrying is the widespread belief that using a hands-free kit is a safe alternative. Don’t kid yourself: it’s not.
“Using a hands-free phone while driving can end and ruin lives just as surely as using a phone hand-held, and no phone call or text is worth a life.”
We want to know what you think. Should using your phone behind the wheel be banned completely? Let us know in the comments below of tweet us at @miDriveApp.
Image via Jim Legans, Jr.
Last modified: 23rd April 2014