Nearly one-in-five young drivers admit to video calling

07.11 | 7 October 2020 | | 2 comments

Image: RAC

The RAC has warned the rising popularity of the likes of FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat for video calls is posing a ‘new and present danger’ on the UK’s roads.

A survey, carried out for the RAC Report on Motoring 2020, shows 8% of drivers admit to taking part in video calls while behind the wheel.

This figure rises to 18% among drivers aged 17-24 years.

Meanwhile, nearly three-in-10 (29%) of all drivers say they make and receive calls on handheld phones while driving – 5% more than last year and the highest proportion since 2016.

Just under one-in-10 young drivers (9%) say they play games on their phones while driving, making them three-times more likely to do this compared to the average UK driver.

The RAC says the data suggests a renewed focus is needed to bring about a lasting change in behaviour among motorists, particularly younger drivers.

Simon Williams, RAC road safety spokesperson, said: “Our figures highlight what many drivers already know – that the problem of illegal phone use at the wheel has far from disappeared. 

“While there’s been a reduction in some elements of this dangerous activity, more people say they are making and taking calls now than at any point since 2016, shortly before tougher penalties were introduced.

“And the rise in the popularity of video calls means this type of communication represents a new, clear and present danger on the UK’s roads in 2020.”



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    There is a simple solution to this problem which legislation will not achieve as we have seen people continue to make calls despite the legislation.
    The apps that facilitate video calls can be updated to make it impossible to do.
    By incorporating the GPS function and applying motion monitor that prevents the app from being used if the device is moving faster than walking speed. This could also be applied to the call function, by muting the microphone and speaker whilst in motion, only allowing Bluetooth connection to hands free systems.
    This ensures 100% compliance and can be added to existing devices in the regular software updates. This would also free up Police time who would no longer have to watch car drivers for mobile phone use infringement.

    Gareth, Altrincham
    Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

    It isn’t just an issue with young drivers. I see much older people using phones at the wheel. Lately, I’ve seen them driving out of supermarket fuel stations interrogating their phones whilst driving along the the store road system…it’s still illegal. I saw a woman do this with her infant in a child seat. She was looking at the phone in her right hand whilst turning right out of the fuel station understeering the car as she gassed it. I saw a young man in a new looking car joining a roundabout from my left as I was riding my motorcycle straight ahead. He noticed me looking at him as he joined and put it down… his approach speed was too quick for someone not in control who wouldn’t be able to stop in an emergency. I saw a middle aged man approaching in a flash looking range rover with a phone to his ear. Vehicles carry a lot of momentum and are lethal when driven by slop drivers who should have their license removed not just points and have to sit a retest. Should you kill someone through dangerous driving then IMO you should lose the license for good.

    Peter Wong, Sheffield
    Agree (10) | Disagree (0)

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