In a new survey of young drivers, more than half of respondents admitted to reading text messages or using apps while driving.
The survey, which was conducted for the insurance firm ingenie, was published to coincide with Road Safety Week. ingenie has also launched its own young driver campaign called ‘Don’t drive distracted’.
The survey of 1,000 young drivers found that while 89% of respondents said they “get annoyed” when they see someone else using the phone behind the wheel, 50% admitted to using their own phone to read text messages while driving, and 37% admitted to sending text messages when behind the wheel.
In addition, 75% of respondents admitted they often or occasionally use mapping apps on their smartphone to get directions while driving, as a substitute for sat-nav. Significant numbers also admitted to using other mobile apps while on the move including Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
By contrast, far fewer respondents (16%) admitted to regularly taking calls without a hands-free system.
Three-quarters of those surveyed also said they often felt distracted when they had a car full of passengers.
Quentin Willson, the presenter of motoring programmes, said: “These figures serve to underscore the simple fact that more must be done to educate inexperienced young drivers about the dangers of being complacent on the road.
“Being distracted behind the wheel, even for just a split second by a text message, can have life-changing or even fatal consequences. I would like to see the Government doing more to teach our children about the dangers of the road in school at a younger age.”