Motorists' mobile use on the up

Motorists' mobile use on the up

Motorists using their mobiles illegally is on the up, according to an investigation by the RAC.

They surveyed drivers, and they say that 31% of respondents says that they have used their phones while at the wheel, compared with 8% in 2014. This is drivers using their phones with their hands, rather than through a hands-free set.

Likewise, the number of drivers who have sent a message, or posted something on social media went up to 19%, from 7%.

14% said that they'd taken a photo or shot some video while they were driving.

These results were taken from the RAC's annual Report on Motoring, and in their round-up, they said that the use of handheld mobiles was "the biggest road safety concern among motorists today".

So what do the RAC think have caused this? Well, the rise in popularity in social media, and things like Snapchat, can't be helping.

However, the motoring group believe that a 27% drop in full-time dedicated officers policing roads in England and Wales between 2010 and 2015 is seeing people behind the wheel driving without any fear of being caught or punished.

Of course, it is illegal to use a handheld phone while driving, and it can end up with a driver getting an automatic fixed penalty notice, three penalty points and £100 fine.

If a driver has been particularly reckless, there could also be a court appearance, a fine of £1,000, and a disqualification.

Over at the Department for Transport, their figures show that drivers who have been distracted by their phones was a contributing factor in 492 accidents in Britain in 2014.

Of these accidents, 21 were fatal, and another 84 were deemed 'serious'.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: "It is alarming to see that some drivers have clearly relaxed their attitudes to the risks associated with this behaviour but more worrying is the increase in the percentage of motorists who actually admit to using a handheld device when driving."

"The fact that drivers have little or no confidence that they will be caught when breaking these laws is a likely contributor to the problem and it is sadly the case that every day most road users see other drivers brazenly using their handheld phones when in control of a vehicle - a sight which should be a thing of the past."

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