Mobile phones are apart of a lot of people everyday lives. Texting, calling, tweeting or posting on social media can be done in seconds straight from your fingertips. However, mobile phone use or video calling whilst driving is incredibly dangerous. Over the past few years, mobile phones have become one of the leading causes of road traffic accidents in the UK.
Previous years have seen campaigns against mobile phone use and driving to reduce the number of traffic accidents that happen every year as a result of this reckless behaviour. A recent survey by Think! Revealed that 1 in 6 people admit to using a mobile phone whilst driving, which increases to 1 in 5 in young people. It is no wonder then that mobile phone use whilst driving is up there with issues such as drink and drug-drivers as a focal point for road safety campaigners.
Mobile phone use whilst driving in the UK
With approximately 66 million people in the UK, there is a staggering 83 million mobile phones in use. That is more than one per person. Mobile phone use whilst driving contributes to road traffic accidents, life-changing injuries and deaths. Although using your mobile whilst driving in the UK has been illegal since 2003, and the penalties for driving and using a mobile phone were increased in 2017, the rules are not always adhered to and new research has indicated many serious problems.
In 2018, the RAC report on monitoring was released showing that 25% of drivers in the UK admitted to receiving calls, making calls and using their phones whilst driving. 39% admitted to receiving calls, making calls and using their phones whilst stopped but whilst their engine was still running. A worrying 19% of drivers check texts, emails or social media whilst driving and a frightening 14% of drivers have taken photos whilst driving. A more recent report showed an increase in 29% of drivers all ages using their phone to make and receive calls when driving.
RAC spokesperson Pete Williams said, “As this survey is only carried out every two years we also fear many drivers who might have changed their ways initially due to the increased penalty may have fallen back into their old ways. This isn’t helped by the decline in the number of roads police officers as some drivers aren’t as afraid of being caught breaking motoring laws as they once were, it can be difficult to catch someone using their phone illegally while driving.”
One in five young people admit to video calling whilst driving
Research highlights that nearly one in five young people in the UK admit to video calling whilst in their car. A recent report from the RAC has indicated that drivers aged 17 to 24 admit to video calling whilst in their car. With figures rising amongst those aged 25 to 44, young drivers are twice as likely to admit to video calling whilst driving. The 2020 motoring research report showed that a handheld phone used by drivers is the second biggest motoring-related concern in the UK.
As a result of the concerning findings, a survey was carried out including a third of all UK drivers. 32% of UK drivers say this issue is concerning and 79% wish to see to the development of camera technology to catch drivers using mobile phones. The hope is to reduce mobile phone usage or video calling whilst driving to prevent further traffic accidents, injuries and deaths.
Although 42% of young people are more likely to make and receive calls (down from 51% in 2019) 32% of adults aged 25 to 44 are statistically more likely to break the law in this particular way.
Due to the pandemic this year it is unclear to see whether dangerous driving behaviours such as checking texts, making calls, taking photos or videos have reduced due to cars being used less. However, 15% of young drivers 17 to 24 are still admitting to these dangerous driving behaviours in 2020, despite figures decreasing from 2019 (37%).
Worldwide texting and driving statistics
Statistics from around the world show, texting whilst driving will cause:
• 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
• 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Centre for Risk Analysis Study
• 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts
• Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents
Texting whilst driving is around 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated and is the number one driving distraction according to teen drivers.
RAC report on road safety – the problem of illegal phone us at the wheel has far from disappeared
RAC road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said, “Our figures highlight what many drivers already know – that the problem of illegal phone use at the wheel has far from disappeared.
“While there’s been a reduction in some elements of this dangerous activity, more people say they are making and taking calls now than at any point since 2016, shortly before tougher penalties were introduced.
“And the rise in the popularity of video calls means this type of communication represents a new, clear and present danger on the UK’s roads in 2020.”
“If the behaviour of those who continue to think it’s safe to use a handheld phone while driving upwards of a tonne of metal is ever going to change, they need to believe there’s a reasonable chance of being caught.”
HNK Solicitors can help if you have been the victim of a road traffic accident caused by someone using their phone whilst driving
Using a mobile phone whilst driving is incredibly dangerous as it is a huge distraction. It causes thousands of road traffic accidents every year and according to statistics from the DVSA, around 33 fatalities every year. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident caused by a driver using their mobile phone you could be entitled to claim compensation.
HNK Solicitors can help you with your road traffic accident claim and obtain the compensation you deserve. We have a dedicated team of road traffic accident solicitors with years of experience and expertise in handling road traffic accident claims and supporting the victims of them. HNK tailor our services to each case, ensuring each person gets the specialist support and advice they need.
We have helped clients from all over England and Wales claim thousands of pounds in compensation for road traffic accidents. Our main aim is ensuring you get the support you need to recover from your injuries and fighting to get the compensation and justice you deserve.
For more information, visit our road traffic accident page, or to arrange a free consultation get in touch with our specialist team on 0151 203 1104 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.