The road safety charity Brake is asking friends and family “not to put loved ones’ lives at risk” by talking to them on the phone while they are driving.
The call comes following a survey of 1,000 drivers in which 23% of respondents admitted to talking to family members on the phone while driving.
The figure includes both hand-held and hands-free phone calls, as Brake points to studies which the charity says prove “both are as dangerous, making you four times more likely to be in a crash that causes injury”.
Brake is calling for all phone use to be banned at the wheel, and is urging drivers to put their phones on silent and out of reach.
The survey suggests young drivers aged 17-24 years are most likely to engage in phone calls while driving. 35% of respondents in this age range admitted to talking to family on the phone while driving, and almost half (49%) have had a work-related call.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, said: “In the modern world, drivers are confronted with many distractions that prevent them from giving the road their full attention.
“It is a sobering thought that a significant number of these life-threatening distractions come from drivers’ own friends and family. That’s why we’re urging people to put their loved ones safety first by refusing to speak to them on the phone while they are driving.
“Employers, too, have an important responsibility to make sure they are not putting their employees in danger.”