Motorists just can’t help themselves

Two thirds of drivers would welcome technology that disabled certain phone functions in a car.

A study conducted by Continental Tyres found that most drivers admitted they couldn’t resist temptation in their cars and believe blocking phones would be far more effective than harsher penalties.

In fact, 46% of drivers admitted to researchers that they think it is OK to look at their phone when stopped or in slow moving traffic, suggesting that 11.3 million road users use their mobile phones illegally. Reading texts, checking social media profiles and viewing emails is now more common than taking or making a phone call.

Of those that admitted to breaking the current law, 31 per cent said they had done so in the last month.

Continental Tyres’ safety expert Mark Griffiths said, ‘Our research reveals that drivers know that their use of phones is illegal, distracting and dangerous yet they cannot help themselves. Nearly half, 45%, told us they struggle to be digitally disconnected and 28% felt that so many people now checked their mobile in traffic it had become normalised.’

As a result, some 66% think the government should enforce a device to disable web-browsing, emails and the ability to send and receive texts.

One in three think the situation is getting worse and another 26% think advances in safety through new technology is being cancelled out by our unwillingness to put our phones out of reach.

Mark continued, ‘There are enormous strides being made in autonomous vehicle technology to deliver even greater safety. Yet our study identifies that we are unsure about allowing cars to take even more control of driving. But when we recognise our obvious failing in relation to the use of phones we do want technology to step up and save us from ourselves.

‘It points to the fascinating, probably unique, relationship we have with our cars and how the development of technologies is reshaping that.’