3 in 5 UK motorists do not know it is illegal to check their social media on their phone whilst stuck in traffic – study conducted by the RAC.
Despite the law on mobile phone use while driving being enforceable since its launch back in 2003, a large proportion of the UK driving population demonstrate a worrying misunderstanding of the law.
12% of motorists surveyed by the RAC did not know it was illegal to text whilst driving and 21% were unaware that checking Facebook or Twitter whilst driving was against the law.
Over half of drivers reported to the RAC that they saw other motorists driving and using their phones on the majority of their journeys – a lot more than were prepared to confess doing it themselves.
When it came to texting whilst driving – 15% of 17-24 year olds admitted to committing the offence, which was more than double the proportion of people outside of this age category.
People’s assumption that it is safe to use their phone while driving is quite simply dangerous.
Russell Worth Solicitors Director, Peter Russell said: “This is an endemic problem on the roads today. At any point whilst your vehicle is stationary and you are checking your phone, a cyclists could pull up beside or in front of your car. The danger comes when the driver is unaware of his or her surroundings through concentrating on their mobile phone and when a driver sets off they are more likely to do so without checking their surroundings. This is where the accidents happen.”
He added: “The number of bicycle accident claims we have seen being made in the last year has shot up and this comes as no surprise. With the rising cost of living the number of cyclists taking to the roads has risen dramatically in recent years. Figures suggest there are nearly 2 million. We urge drivers to put their phones on silent in the glove compartment and wait until they have completed their journey before using their phone. The Facebook status will be just as funny when you get home.”
With organisations such as cyclescheme.co.uk and the Governments cycle to work scheme pushing to get more and more commuters to dust off their steely steeds in favour of the car, people need to start being a little more aware of driver safety on UK roads.