Currently reading: Mobile phone use while driving still a big concern, says new report
RAC report reveals that 18% of drivers aged 17-24 admit to taking part in video calls while driving
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2 mins read
7 October 2020

Drivers using a handheld phone behind the wheel remains one of the most prominent concerns of motorists, new data from the 2020 RAC Report on Motoring reveals. 

The report also claims that nearly one in five (18%) of drivers aged between 17-24 have admitted to taking part in video calls while driving. 

The figure is more than twice that of drivers of all age groups. The RAC claims the rise in popularity of video-based apps such as FaceTime, WhatsApp and Snapchat has contributed to such a significant proportion admitting to such actions. 

The statistics, compiled from a representative UK sample of more than 3000 drivers, also reveal that 9% of those questioned admit to playing games on a phone behind the wheel. However, the rates of those surveyed admitting to this illegal phone usage has largely dropped across the board compared with 2019’s data. 

Findings in the RAC’s 2016 report, which reported the problem was at ‘epidemic levels’ eventually lead to the introduction of tougher penalties for those who use a phone while driving. However, RAC road safety spokesperson Simon Williams says the new figures reveal “that the problem of illegal phone use at the wheel has far from disappeared”. 

The 2020 report reveals that 79% of motorists support the introduction of cameras to identify illegal phone use - technology that's already in use in Australia. Of those people, 52% strongly support such measures, which will reduce the burden of enforcement on already-stretched police forces.

“Our findings from 2016 were a watershed moment which led to the UK government calling for people to make illegal mobile phone use while driving as socially unacceptable as drink-driving”, Williams said. “The fact drivers still state it’s their second-biggest motoring concern of all shows that more progress still needs to be made here."

The RAC has called for more “regular and robust” data on the problem to be gathered by the government and for police forces to trial handheld phone detection technology. It also wants more investment in high-profile media campaigns to raise public awareness to the dangers of phone use while driving. 

The full 2020 RAC Report on Motoring can be read here.

READ MORE:

Government to close mobile phone use 'loophole'

Why safety tech and speed limiters can't save us all

New assisted driving grading aims to reduce safety tech confusion

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5

7 October 2020

 Put more of the tech that this age group want and they'll use it because it's now been made easier to use on the move, they won't use it though if it's made only for use while stationary, parked up etc.

7 October 2020
Is this phone use with the phone being held by the driver? Surely blue tooth devices are easy enough to install and most new cars come already enabled, so you don't need to hold your phone to make a call, as for face time type calls, that's ridiculous.
I assume touching your phone whilst mounted on the dash is treated no differently to touching a touchscreen interface on your dash on a modern car, so you can skip tracks etc if using it as a music player, so how you can police a face time call I don't know, unless you can actually see that is happening.

7 October 2020
si73 wrote:

Is this phone use with the phone being held by the driver? Surely blue tooth devices are easy enough to install and most new cars come already enabled, so you don't need to hold your phone to make a call, as for face time type calls, that's ridiculous. I assume touching your phone whilst mounted on the dash is treated no differently to touching a touchscreen interface on your dash on a modern car, so you can skip tracks etc if using it as a music player, so how you can police a face time call I don't know, unless you can actually see that is happening.

Nobody does that I think nowadays, no, it's more txting and receiving Txts , you can order food on the move to be delivered to where your going and at the time that suits you, things like that,I'm sure I've missed a few, no doubt drivers who do you the tech will say there's loads of other things that can be done sitting driving your car.

7 October 2020

@ Peter.

I see loads of people deep in conversation on hand held phones, negotiating junctions etc using just one hand on the wheel. And theses are modern, often high end vehicles which of course will have bluetooth systems as standard.

Perhaps there's nothing like the real thing.

7 October 2020

Yes, mobile phone use while driving is as widespread as ever. How many times does the car in front not pull away when the lights go green, because the driver is mid-text? School-runs Mums in big SUVsseem to be the worst culprits!

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