Don’t use your mobile when driving

In the run up to the Bank holiday weekend, Brake, the road safety charity, is urging friends and family not to put loved ones’ lives at risk by talking to them on the phone while they’re driving.

The call comes as a survey by Brake reveals the source of deadly phone distraction for drivers.

In the past year:
• Almost a quarter (23%) of drivers have talked to family on the phone while driving.
• One in seven drivers (15%) have talked to friends on the phone while driving.
• One in six drivers (17%) have had a work-related call while driving.

The survey shows young drivers (17-24) are most likely to engage in phone calls with friends, family, and employers.

In the past year:
• More than a third (35%) of young drivers have talked to family on the phone while driving.
• More than two in five young drivers (21%) have talked to friends on the phone while driving.
• Almost half (49%) of young drivers have had a work-related call while driving.

The figures include both hand-held and hands-free phone calls, as studies have proved both are as dangerous, making you four times more likely to be in a crash that causes injury. That’s why Brake calls for all phone use, including hands-free, to be banned at the wheel, and appeals to drivers to put their phones on silent and out of reach before getting behind the wheel.

Brake also asked drivers how long they drive without taking a break. Two thirds (67%) admitted driving for more than the recommended two hours, with a quarter (24%) doing so once a month or more. Research has found driving performance deteriorates after this time, as you become less able to concentrate and slower to react to hazards.

Brake is advising drivers to take a break for calls, by taking a minimum 15 minutes break at least every two hours, and using those to make calls and respond to messages, as well as resting, rather than putting lives at risk by using a phone at the wheel. Brake is also urging friends, family, employers and colleagues to do their bit and make life easier for drivers by not calling them or continuing phone conversations while they’re at the wheel.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said, ‘In the modern world, drivers are confronted with many distractions that prevent them from giving the road their full attention, risking devastating crashes and loss of life. It is a sobering thought that a significant number of these life-threatening distractions come from drivers’ own friends and family. That’s why we’re urging people to put their loved ones safety first by refusing to speak to them on the phone while they are driving. Employers, too, have an important responsibility to make sure they are not putting their employees in danger.’

Julie continued, ‘Drivers taking to the road this weekend could also be putting themselves and others at risk by pushing themselves too far without a break. Our appeal to drivers this weekend, and year-round, is take regular breaks, at least every two hours, and use these for calls and to recharge. No call or message is so important that it can’t wait until you’re safely off the road.’