Percentage of motorists texting, surfing the internet and checking social media revealed by road safety charity.
Safety charity survey results
Millions of motorists risked lives by using a phone behind the wheel within the last year in the United Kingdom, Brake revealed. The road safety charity's survey – which was conducted in association with Direct Line - showed that 55% of those aged 25 to 34 read, or sent, a text message or instant message whilst driving.
Motorists in this 25 to 34 year bracket were the most prolific offenders. They were followed by those age: 18 to 24 (33%), 35 to 44 (21%), 45 to 54 (12%), 55 to 64 (5%), and 65+ (3%). Within the worst offending bracket 28% ignored the law “several times a week”.
Brake suggested that writing messages on a phone is “more distracting” than talking as it utilises the brain, hands and eyesight. Reaction times fall 35% and participants find it hard to stay in lane. The safety charity argued – based on a recent report – that texting increases the risk of collision by the factor of 23.
Accessing the internet
Brake's survey also asked whether motorists used the internet, social media or other apps while driving within the last year. It excluded satellite navigation apps, of course. 25 to 34 year olds were, once again, the most prolific offenders as 49% broke the law.
Motorists in other age brackets offended too. The 25 to 34 year group was followed by those aged: 18 to 24 (28%), 35 to 44 (18%), 45 to 54 (5%), 55 to 64 (2%) and 65+ (0%). Within the most prolific age group, 17% fell foul of United Kingdom law “once a day or more”.
Safety charity champions responsible behaviour
Alice Bailey, Brake Campaigns and Communications Adviser, explained: “Younger drivers, especially those aged between 25 and 34, simply aren’t getting the message about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. Doing any other complex task while driving hugely increases your chance of crashing.”
She added: “We’ve seen recent examples of drivers who have crashed while trying to play games like Pokémon Go, or posting Snapchat images while behind the wheel. These drivers are putting their own and other people’s lives in grave danger by taking this risk.”
Brake suggested that some motorists struggle to resist the temptation to tamper “despite knowledge of the risks”. Experts warn of “increasing levels of smartphone addition”, the road safety charity claimed. It added that some people are “unable to go without checking the phone for short periods or through the night”.