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Hang up on social driving…

In a technology driven world, it’s no surprise that there are more than 83.1 million mobile phones in the UK. Phones have become integral in our everyday routine, using them for work, rest and play. However, as mobile phones become more mainstream, they now present serious danger on the road as some UK drivers continue to use their phone behind the wheel.

Since 2003, using hand-held phones whilst driving has been illegal, which includes periods of queueing in traffic or at traffic lights. Similarly, they cannot be used when supervising a learner driver. However, all drivers should be aware that if there is an emergency and it is unsafe or impractical to stop, drivers may use their phone to dial 999 – this is the only exception to the rules.

You may think the penalty of breaking these rules would be enough to deter drivers – a maximum fine of £1000 or £2500 for drivers of buses and good vehicles, would go a long way towards their phone bill, not to mention at least three points marked on your license.

However, figures from a 2012 survey conducted by the Department for Transport found that 378 accidents reported that year involved a mobile phone, resulting in a horrific 548 casualties, 17 of them fatal. Motoring experts now believe that mobile phone use is now the biggest cause of death on UK roads.

Despite these harrowing facts and figures, a disturbing new trend has emerged, taking over social media with the hashtag #DrivingSelfie. A recent survey found that out of 500 drivers questioned, 1 in 5 admitted to taking selfies while on the road. Even more shockingly, one in 12 admitted to using Skype or FaceTime to video call whilst behind the wheel, while another 7 per cent admitted to watching TV during their journey.

After conducting a survey which found 70% of young drivers consider texting acceptable when pulled over with the engine running, The AA has pledged to help tackle the nationwide problem by working alongside driving instructors. With pressure mounting to increase the penalty fines, the motor specialists are aiming to spread the safety message, by ensuring that lessons for future learners have a prominent focus on mobile phone usage, highlighting the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of the law.

Here at Drivers Direct, our driver’s safety is our priority. As using a mobile phone behind the wheel can affect every road user and has serious consequences, our training and recruitment ensures that all our drivers know and follow the law. With this in place we can provide a safe and effective service, safe in the knowledge that our drivers know that the solution is simple: don’t use your phone behind the wheel.

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