A lot of research shows that using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving is a significant distraction, and greatly increases the risk of the driver crashing.
Drivers who use a mobile phone whether hand-held or hands-free:
- are four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and/or other people
- are much less aware of what’s happening on the road around them
- fail to see road signs
- fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed
- are more likely to ‘tailgate’ the vehicle in front
- react more slowly and take longer to brake
- are more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic
- feel more stressed and frustrated.
Using a hands-free phone while driving does not significantly reduce the risks because the problems are caused mainly by the mental distraction and divided attention of taking part in a phone conversation at the same time as driving.
Remember it isn’t just speaking - texting and using smartphones can be even more distracting than talking on your phone.
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It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone or device while driving. This includes Sat-navs. It is also an offence to “cause or permit” a driver to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
It can be illegal to use a hands-free phone while driving. Depending upon the individual circumstances, drivers could be charged with ‘failing to have proper control of their vehicle’.
- if you are caught it’s a £100 fine and three points and if you are caught twice you will lose your license
- if you cause an accident and kill someone you are likely to go to prison
- Police will check phone records when investigating a fatal collision or serious injury