Photo staged in stationary vehicle for illustrative purposes only
The IAM has published new research which it says “reveals the shocking extent to which drivers use their phones and tablets to take selfies, make video calls and watch videos while driving”.
The research, commissioned by the IAM, asked 500 drivers how they use their smartphones and tablets in the car.
9% of all respondents admitted to taking a ‘selfie’ while driving in the last month. This increased to 15% of respondents aged 18-24 years, and 19% of those aged 25-35 years. 5% of female respondents admitted doing so, compared to 12% of males.
8% of those questioned admitted to driving while using a video application such as FaceTime and Skype to make and receive video calls, rising to 16% among those aged 18-24 years.
7% admitted to watching videos and ‘catch-up television’ while driving – rising to 13% of those aged 18-24 years and 15% of 25-32 year olds.
18% claimed to have accessed the internet while driving (27% of those aged 18-24 years, and 34% aged 25-34 years).
Despite this, the IAM says number of drivers given penalty points for using a smartphone at the wheel “fell by more than 40% in 2014”.
Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, 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.
“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.
“Campaigns must also be introduced that raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue in society and make this behaviour socially unacceptable as drink-driving”.