IAM calls for increased smartphone safety

29th December 2016

IAM calls for increased smartphone safety (image credit: william87 via Thinkstock)

IAM RoadSmart has issued a call to the manufacturers of smartphones and other handheld devices to take greater responsibility for protecting the lives of motorists and members of the public.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, commented: "It isn't enough for the providers of this technology to simply say 'it is up to the individual'.  

"Every phone in use today already comes with a driving mode that can cut out calls, but they are very rarely used. This would suggest that 'carrots or sticks' may be needed to actually get people to use any new approach."

He argued that while the government has taken steps to increase deterrents for individuals found guilty of using a mobile phone while driving in recent months, more action needs to be seen by the manufacturers themselves.

The development of apps that automatically switch off devices in the car could help in this regard, while the body has encouraged the government to implement measures to ensure these apps are being used among the populace.

Failure to do so could result in new penalties being introduced, while there could also be new incentives put in place to reward those who drive without the distraction of mobiles.

Natalie Brinkley, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, adds: "Thousands of lives could be saved through a change in mobile technology and through additional support for its uptake.

"New systems could hold the key to wholly removing this significant distraction for drivers in the years ahead."