Mobile Phone Obsession Could Be Increasing Traffic Collisions

Mon 6th Aug 2018

Safety experts in the UK have raised concerns that the nation’s obsession with smartphone technology is leading to an increase in road traffic collision rates.

A recent Ofcom report has found that the UK public on average cannot go more than 12 minutes without checking their mobile phones, and that addiction continues when they are behind the wheel of their car.

Though the fine for using a mobile phone whilst driving is £200 and six penalty points, it appears that the heavy punishment is not deterring a sufficient number of drivers, and even more disturbing, two thirds of drivers don’t even know the penalty exists.

Road safety charity Brake is now calling for more awareness of the problem and advising that drivers pay full attention to the road rather than being distracted by their phones.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “In our modern world it may seem unsurprising that people can’t go 12 minutes without using their smartphone, but this ‘addiction’ can have deadly consequences if people can’t leave their phones alone whilst driving.

"A split-second distraction caused by a call, text or notification behind the wheel can be fatal.

"In 2016, 32 people were killed and 105 seriously injured in crashes involving a driver being distracted by their mobile phone, and this problem is getting worse year-on-year.

“Illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel is all too common and action needs to be taken to rid our roads of this dangerous menace.

"Drivers need to understand that no call, text or social media update is worth risking a life.”