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Survey shows extent of distraction to drivers from mobile phones

6 Aug 2019

Survey shows extent of distraction to drivers from mobile phones

A new survey has shown the extent to which some drivers continue to be distracted by their mobile phones while driving, despite using the devices being illegal if you are behind the wheel.

The research was carried out among more than 2,000 UK adults by repairs and servicing company Kwik Fit and found a staggering 2.7 million motorists have had a collision or veered off the road in the past two years because they were looking at their phone.

Indeed, many people seem unable to resist the lure of the screen, with 24 per cent of respondents admitting to reading texts while driving and 20 per cent confessing to sending them.

A further 40 per cent said they regularly use the GPS or navigation function on their phone while they are behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, the study did find an age bias in terms of people breaking the law, with 18 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds having had a phone-related collision compared to zero per cent of those 55 or over.

Furthermore, this younger age bracket was 13 times more likely to have sent a text at the wheel than their older counterparts.

To raise awareness of the problem, Kwik Fit has launched an interactive game on its website that is designed to show just how much a mobile phone can affect motorists' reaction times and pose a serious risk to road safety.

The company is inviting drivers to play it, but also urging them to ensure they keep their full attention on the road if they are on any kind of journey.

Spokesperson Roger Griggs 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 focussed at all times."

This comes after it was revealed the government is looking into measures designed to protect pedestrians who are glued to their smartphones from being run over.

After a rise in incidents involving so-called 'zombie pedestrians' - who fail to look up from their screens before walking out into oncoming traffic - highways officials said they are considering installing warning lights on pavements at crossings.