Figures collected by the RAC Report on Motoring 2017 show that 23% of drivers admitted to using their mobile phone at the wheel to take a phone call in the past 12 months and 12% admitted to checking texts, emails and social media. (Source: RAC). Between 2013 and 2015, this resulted in an average of 24 deaths, due to mobile use. (Source: ALA).
Rules of mobile use while driving
- You cannot write a text message nor browse your phone while driving
- You cannot start a phone call via the keyboard if the phone is mounted into a holder
- You should simply operate the phone via buttons on the earphones or via a wireless connection if the phone is in your pocket
It is important to keep in mind that your reaction times are twice as slow if you text and drive than if you drink and drive. This increases to three times if you use a handheld phone (Source: Think!).
Also remember that you can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine if the police catch you using your phone while driving. You’ll also lose your license if you passed your driving test within the last 2 years. (Source: Gov UK)
Tips to prevent mobile use while driving
There are several mobile applications on the market that are designed to prevent you from using your mobile whilst driving a car. For example: you may want to connect your mobile to Apple CarPlay, or a similar solution for Android phones, if you have it in your car. With CarPlay, you can call, send messages, receive notifications and last but not least, use your phone as a GPS. Apple CarPlay also limits the use of some applications when the car is running. For example: the option of entering a text message locks while the car is moving, therefore you are only able to speak to the system for it to write a text for you.
Here are some simple tips for avoiding using your mobile while driving:
- Put the phone on silent or on airplane mode
- Hold your hands on the steering wheel
- Let one of the passengers respond to the messages for you
- Put the phone outside of arm’s length
- Before you begin to drive, send a message to those who may need to know that you are unavailable for a while
We all have a responsibility to avoid traffic accidents. Go ahead and set a good example, and do not use your mobile in an irresponsible way in the car. Never write text messages, and always use hands free. Should you need to have a lengthy and important conversation, or have to write a message, pull over at a petrol station and stop the car.