More than a million British drivers have suffered a collision with another road vehicle due to distractions from their mobile phones.
That’s according to new research from Kwik Fit, which surveyed more than 2,000 UK adults and discovered almost a quarter (24%) still read text messages while driving. Meanwhile a fifth (20%) admitted to sending text messages while driving too.
Recent reports have concluded that using a mobile phone at the wheel is equally as dangerous as drink-driving.
Earlier this year, Brake, the UK’s leading road safety charity, published an interactive tool for fleet professionals to educate everyday fleet drivers of the constant risks of driving whilst distracted.
While Brake has been working proactively alongside commercial fleets to identify and coach distracted driving out of regular fleet drivers, Kwik Fit’s latest study suggests there’s a lot more to be done to curb smartphone distractions.
Some 1.8 million UK motorists have also been involved in a collision due to another motorist being distracted by their smartphone.
Reading and sending text messages aren’t the most common mobile distractions at the wheel of the car. Kwik Fit’s survey found that taking a call on speaker (44%) was the most typical driving distraction, while using a GPS or smartphone-based sat-nav was also a common distraction among two-fifths (40%) of commercial and domestic drivers.
The High Court continues to question the effectiveness of existing legislation regarding the prohibition of mobile phone use while driving. Meanwhile a survey by Motorpoint found that 86% of motorists would be happy to see the police given greater powers to penalise anyone caught holding their smartphone at the wheel.
To provide a clear indication of how distractions affect a motorist’s reaction times at the wheel, Kwik Fit has launched an interactive game to act as a much-needed shock tactic.
Roger Griggs, communications director, Kwik Fit, said: “It is alarming to see that so many motorists are still risking their lives and those of others by using mobile phones behind the wheel.
“There are already so many other distractions on the road that it is vital that drivers pay attention and remain focused at all times.
“The aim of our game is to demonstrate how easy it is to lose focus when interacting with a phone when driving.
“We hope people will try this out and realise the danger they are putting themselves and others in and quit using their phone while operating a car.”