Motorists continue to flout tough laws on the use of mobile phones whilst
driving, according to a survey by YouGov.
The survey of more than 2,000 car drivers, on behalf of retailer Halfords, revealed
that almost a third of drivers admit to taking calls on their mobile phones and
over one in five have made a phone call whilst driving.
Men defy the law on mobile phone use in cars more often than women, with 25%
admitting to taking a call compared to 20% of women.
However the problem may be worse than drivers are prepared to admit with 52%
of adults revealing they have been passengers in a car where the driver has
used a mobile phone to either make or receive a call.
Social networking is adding to the problem with one in twenty drivers
admitting to having read a post on social networking sites, such as Facebook
and Twitter, while behind the wheel.
The penalty for using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving is £60 and
three penalty points added to the driver's license.
The AA said: ‘Driving whilst using a hand-held mobile phone places you at
greater risk of having an accident - it slows reactions and you are less able
to control the car. Insurance companies quite rightly take such offences
‘In the event of an accident, police now routinely check mobile phone
records to find out whether use of a phone was a contributory cause. Don't even
think about not telling your insurer. When you take out or renew your cover,
you will be asked if you have incurred any endorsements on your licence. If
you're not truthful you could compromise your insurance cover.’
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: 'The use
of mobile phones behind the wheel is bad news for road safety. We know drivers'
reaction times slow by almost half when they are having a chat on their mobiles.
'This is even worse than texting while driving which our research has shown
slows reaction times by a third.
'The actions of those who flout the law can have tragic consequences. In
2008 the use of a mobile phone was a contributory factor in 16 fatal road
accidents across Britain
and many more where people were seriously injured.’