Survey says 65 per cent of us say biggest threat on the road is motorists using their mobile phone

PUBLISHED: 11:54 05 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:06 05 April 2016

Woman on phone while driving

Woman on phone while driving

(c) Siri Stafford

Comes in the month a major awareness campaign is launched to crack down on dangerous driving habit

Research by county council chiefs found 65 per cent of us fear the biggest risk to them on the roads is motorists using a mobile phone at the wheel.

The research, by Kent County Council’s road safety team, shows that motorists estimate 39 per cent of drivers use a hand-held mobile phone, 34 per cent use a phone to text/use apps/check email/use internet and 49 per cent use a hands-free mobile device whilst driving.

The research comes in the same month KCC is launching an awareness campaign to remind drivers of the dangers of using mobile phones whilst driving.

It aims to remind drivers that mobile phones cause a huge distraction whilst driving and that it is a myth to think that it is possible to concentrate fully on two things at once.

Vicky Watkins, road safety team leader at KCC, said, “Using a mobile phone whilst driving impairs reaction time, reduces concentration levels, leads to poorer judgment of speed and distance and reduces your field of vision.

“Drivers using mobile phones make the roads less safe for us all. It’s a fallacy to believe we can concentrate on two things at once. The reality is one activity will dominate the other.

“It’s not simply splitting your attention 50:50, it’s more like 95:5 with the task seeming the most important taking over – with drivers using a phone that means the call or text completely takes over from the driving.”

The campaign will be running throughout April and will be on television and on-demand services, Heart Radio, bus rears, bus stop posters and social media.

Inspector Martin Stevens from Kent Police said: “Though the majority of people know it is wrong to phone or text at the wheel, some feel that using apps is acceptable.

“Doing this is just as distracting as calling or texting someone and just as likely to cause a collision. Furthermore should a motorist cause a collision or be caught on their phone, we can forensically examine it and find out exactly what the user was doing with their handset.

“Using a phone at the wheel is just as socially unacceptable as drink driving and both offences cost lives. Life lost on the road is a life wasted and a family devastated.

“So next time you are behind the wheel and get a mention, a favourite, a like or a direct message, ask yourself if you are literally dying to read it?”


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