Research published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has revealed the shocking extent to which UK drivers are running the risk of serious accidents by taking part in dangerous activities when using the latest technologies at the wheel.
According to a poll of 500 UK vehicle owners, a growing number of people are being reckless with their safety by failing to properly pay heed to the road ahead of them due to the distraction of smartphones and tablets.
Overall, nine per cent of respondents admitted to taking a selfie while driving – increasing to 15 per cent of drivers aged 18 to 24 and 19 per cent of 25 to 35-year-olds.
Furthermore, eight per cent said they had made a video call while at the wheel, while 17 per cent admitted to watching videos and streaming catch-up TV.
IAM chief executive officer Sarah Sillars said: "Everyone knows how dangerous using a smartphone or tablet is while driving. That's why it's shocking to see new trends like taking selfies and making video calls becoming common practice.
"Safe driving is everyone's responsibility and more must be done to catch drivers using these devices dangerously by increasing the fines and points for smartphone and tablet use at the wheel – there is simply no excuse."
She added that further efforts are now needed to spread the message that these risky activities are simply not acceptable, with people across the country now needing to realise that distractions caused by the latest technologies can be just as harmful a behaviour as drink-driving.
Indeed, a study published by the IAM in 2012 showed that using a smartphone while driving is more dangerous than driving at the legal alcohol limit or when using cannabis, with considerably slower reaction times for those that are distracted at the wheel.
Posted on 24th July 2015
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