More than a fifth of drivers say they can’t bear to switch off their mobiles while behind the wheel, according to new research by AA.
According to the survey of 19,308 drivers conducted by the motoring organisation, almost 50% of younger drivers say they are so addicted to their phones that they refuse to turn them off.
‘Worse than drink driving’
The poll figures suggest that more than two thirds (70%) of people believe texting while driving is worse than being over the limit while behind the wheel. And almost a quarter of people (24%) say mobile phone use is the biggest safety risk in the UK.
However, 20% of those surveyed say they still see other motorists using their mobiles on every journey and another two fifths say they notice it on most journeys.
“It took time to change mainstream attitudes to drink driving so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that we still have some way to go to convince drivers to hang up their phones in the car,” says Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust.
“Many drivers even think the use of mobiles in cars is getting worse, rather than better. Drivers need to take responsibility for their own actions and the police need to clamp down on those who don’t,” Mr King added.
Coalition urges ‘follow Apple’s lead’
The iOS 11 update that is due this week is expected to include a ‘do not disturb while driving’ function, that will automatically turn off calls, messages and notifications once a phone is detected to be in a car.
A coalition of charities and organisations, including Brake, the RAC and the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety – is now urging Microsoft and Android to follow suit and implement similar technology.
The coalition says the software is urgently needed to tackle “the needless deaths and serious injuries caused by drivers using handheld mobile phones behind the wheel”.
Reference: Local Berkshire
Date Published: September 28, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown