A car search website has launched a new ‘interactive experience’ designed to test whether drivers will give in to distractions when at the wheel.
The online ‘Time to STOP’ challenge, developed by Motors.co.uk and promoted on its social channels, aims to highlight the dangers and reduce the number of drivers illegally using a hand-held mobile phone.
It is accompanied by a petition to the UK government urging for a national safety campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using a hand-held device when driving.
Motors.co.uk says DfT stats show there were 3,611 accidents involving mobile phone usage between 2009-14, and in 2014 alone more than 120,000 drivers were caught illegally using a mobile phone, with just 17,000 prosecuted for the offence.
The car search website says other research shows that: 95% of drivers regularly see other motorists looking at their phones while stationary in traffic; reading the average length text message, while travelling at 55mph, takes a driver’s eyes off the road for long enough to cover the length of a football pitch; and one in five motorists admit accessing social networking sites on their mobile phone while driving.
Phill Jones, managing director of Motors.co.uk, said: “We believe a national safety campaign should be created that clearly and memorably restates the law, highlighting the dangers and impact of using a hand-held device when driving.
“The last campaign of this type was in 2012, and focused primarily on cutting down on making and taking calls behind the wheel.
“In the intervening four years, not only has the number of phones increased dramatically but so has the functionality on these devices, increasing their role in our everyday lives – and the consequent potential distraction in-car.”