It’s 2018, and by now we all know how truly dangerous it is to use your phone whilst driving, right? We for sure would never even contemplate picking up a call, or having a scroll through Insta, there’s a time and a place and driving is definitely NOT it. What could really be that important that you can’t wait until you reach your destination?
Of course, some occupations do use their phones more than others – taxi drivers for one. So should this make them exempt from the law? Absolutely not, but according to research from auto retailer Peter Vardy a staggering 74% of Brits wouldn’t stop their taxi driver from using their phone illegally.
Have we not all heard of hands-free by now? There’s ways in which you can answer incoming calls without picking up your phone, but arguably any telephone conversation can be a little distracting. It only takes a few seconds of your concentration being diverted for your journey to end up in tears, serious injury or even in the worst case, death. Could you live with yourself if you seriously injured a pedestrian just to pick up a call?
The worst UK city for illegal phone usage is actually really rather surprising, you might automatically assume London due to the large volume of taxis on the roads, but the worst is in fact Edinburgh. With new rules introduced in March 2017 to clamp down on mobile driving offences, it’s astonishing that this law is overlooked by so many. We can’t just point the finger of blame at certain occupations either, a staggering 42% of the public are still continuing to break the law by using their mobile phone whilst driving. Is a £200 fine and six license points not enough to deter drivers? Should the punishment be harsher?
Of course, it’s not just picking up a call that could land you a fine and points, merely touching your phone could get you pulled over. Not fun! Make sure that doesn’t happen to you, not only for your own wallet but for your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Follow these top tips for a safer journey:
1. Select your playlist before your journey so you aren’t tempted to switch songs throughout your journey.
2. Enter your route into maps before you leave. You don’t want to try and fiddle with entering this whilst you’re driving.
3. Leave your phone in your bag – out of sight, out of mind.
4. Speak up. If your taxi driver, friend or family member picks up their phone, politely ask that they pullover to take their call.
5. Turn your phone on silent. The constant notification beeps can be super distracting whilst driving even if you’re not using your phone, so switch it on silent for the duration of your journey.
Just over 39% of Brits would feel uncomfortable asking a friend or family relation to not use their phone whilst driving, so it isn’t just strangers we’re reluctant to callout over their unacceptable behaviour. It might feel awkward, but at the end of the day you could be putting lives at risk for not speaking up. If you do feel awkward, you could bring up a conversation about the new laws and fines, which may encourage your friends and family to think twice before they pick up their phone to switch songs on Spotify.
Stay safe and don’t be afraid to speak up!