The road safety charity Brake has expressed concern about the extent to which people use their mobile phone and the ‘devastating impact’ this could have on road safety.
A new Ofcom study into mobile use, published on 2 August, found that the average Brit checks their phone every 12 minutes and spends nearly three and a half hours a day looking at a mobile device.
Brake says the findings are ‘unsurprising’, but stresses that a split-second distraction caused by a call, text or notification while driving can be fatal.
Figures show that in 2016, 32 people were killed and 105 seriously injured in crashes involving a driver being distracted by their mobile phone, and Brake says the problem is ‘getting worse year-on-year’.
Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns, said: “Illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel is all too common and action needs to be taken to rid our roads of this dangerous menace.
“We are calling on the Government to invest in greater awareness, more enforcement and tougher punishment of people who illegally use their phone at the wheel to provide an effective deterrent to this blight on our roads.
“Drivers need to understand that no call, text or social media update is worth risking a life.”
The RAC is also concerned about the dangers posed by drivers using a smartphone, and last year launched the ‘Be Phone smart’ campaign to ‘end handheld phone use at the wheel’.