24th September 2015
Half of drivers see their fellow motorists using mobile phones at the wheel every day new research from LV= has revealed.
The research shows half, at 48%, of all UK motorists see another driver operating a mobile phone at least once a day with one in four, at 24%, saying they see other drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel twice a day or more.
Worryingly, almost a third of motorists, at 29% admitted to sending texts while driving while 50% said they read texts when on the road.
That is despite motorists naming the use of mobile phones while driving alongside speeding as the third most dangerous driving practice, behind only drink-driving, at 59%, and driving under the influence of drugs, as cited by 19% of respondents.
|Five most dangerous driving practices, according to motorists|
|2||Driving under the influence of drugs (19%)|
|3||Using a mobile phone while driving (7%)|
|=3.||Speeding / Driving too fast (7%)|
|5||Doing make-up while driving (5%)|
The most common reasons for drivers to use their mobile phone while driving are reading a text message, answering a phone call (and not with hands-free) and checking a map or satnav phone app.
|Top five uses of mobile phones while driving admitted by motorists|
|1||Checking a text message (50%)|
|2||Answering a phone call (not hands-free) (48%)|
|3||Check a map or satnav app (32%)|
|4||Send a text message (29%)|
|5||Make a phone call (27%)|
However, some drivers take their phone out for more obscure reasons, such as for ordering a takeaway or looking at an online dating site.
According to official Police data, obtained through Freedom of Information requests from LV=, over the past five years male motorists have been four times more likely to be pulled over for using their mobile phones while driving than their female counterparts – and this has consistently been the case since 2010. [
This 80:20 male-to-female ratio of cases registered by Police over the past five years is far different to the actual gender ratio of drivers on British roads, which was 54:46 male-to-female as of 2010, nearly half and half.
Currently, if you are caught using your phone while driving you can get an automatic fixed penalty notice, receiving three penalty points on your licence and a fine of £100 but just a quarter of motorists surveyed by LV= believe this penalty is sufficient.
Over four in 10 motorists think the fine should be higher for the offence and a similar number feel more penalty points should be issued to those caught, while 6% think it warrants a mandatory prison sentence.
LV= is calling for British drivers to avoid using their mobile phones while at the wheel, potentially reducing the number of accidents and fatalities on British roads.
John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= car insurance, comments: “Although it can be tempting to quickly check your mobile, it is essential that drivers keep their eyes on the road at all times. There can be enough surprises without the additional distraction of a mobile phone, and drivers need to be ready to react, to help improve safety for themselves and other drivers.”