A recent survey by the RAC has cast a very interesting light on the use of mobile phones while driving. For some time in the UK, it has been illegal for drivers to use a hand-held mobile device although the use of hands-free mobile devices is still legal. Many MPs are pushing the UK government to introduce a blanket ban on hands-free devices which they believe also contribute to road traffic accidents. So, what did the recent RAC survey find?
- On average 8% of all UK drivers make or receive video calls while driving
- This figure rises to 13% amongst those aged 25 to 44
- 3% of all UK drivers admitted to playing games on their phones while driving
- This figure rises to 9% for drivers aged between 17 and 24
- Making and receiving calls on hand-held phones while driving is commonplace for 29% of drivers in 2020 – an increase of 5% on 2019
- Of those aged 17 to 24, 42% admitted making/receiving calls on hand-held phones while driving, although this was down from 51% in 2019
- For those aged 25 to 44 the figure was 32% which was slightly down from the 33% figure in 2019
- Across all drivers, 8% percent admitted to sending and receiving messages while driving, down from 14% in 2019
- The figure is higher for those aged 17 to 24 although it is down from 37% in 2019 to 15% in 2020
Interestingly, 79% of all drivers surveyed are in favour of introducing camera technology to catch drivers breaking the law. There is a huge amount of evidence that shows that using mobile devices while driving is incredibly dangerous. Taking your eye off the road for just one second could have serious consequences for the driver, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. The use of mobile devices while driving is a historic scourge that many experts believed was under control. Unfortunately, the latest data from the RAC would suggest otherwise.
Using mobile devices while driving is not only illegal but could be regarded as reckless by the courts. Aside from personal injury compensation claims, those flouting the law may well find themselves spending time at Her Majesty’s pleasure. It seems that road traffic accidents will continue to be one of the leaders in the personal injury claims market.