Despite high profile government and police campaigns highlighting the dangers of using a mobile when driving, many motorists are still flouting the law and putting their lives, and those of other road users, at risk.
A new study for Kwik Fit has found that a third (34%) of drivers are still using their mobile phone without a hands-free set.
These figures are especially alarming as the most recent government statistics show that in five years there was a 24% increase in the number of accidents in which a contributory factor was the driver being distracted by using a mobile phone.
The study also revealed that more than a quarter of drivers use their satnav or the GPS on their phone while driving, with 19 per cent saying they take calls and 17 per cent admitting they read text messages.
Four months on from the introduction of increased penalties for mobile phone use, many drivers remain unaware of the laws and the penalties for breaking them. More than two in five people (43%) do not know that the penalty for using a hand-held phone when driving is six points.
The additional focus on inexperienced drivers has also passed many people by, with only 47% of Brits knowing that those caught using a phone without a hands-free set in their first two years will lose their licence.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The findings of this study are very worrying indeed. While car manufacturers have made great strides in improving safety, it is vital that drivers remember that they are the most important safety feature in the vehicle.
“Any form of distraction can have serious consequences, as sadly, the statistics clearly show.
“It is especially important for inexperienced drivers to be fully focused on what they are doing. The fact that this report has found that younger drivers have less knowledge of the rules and are more likely to take risks means more needs to be done to educate them in the very first weeks and months of driving.
“Kwik Fit is working with schools and colleges around the country to hold events aimed at improving the safety of those drivers who are new to the road and education on the use of mobiles is an important part of that.”
Content Marketing Executive at Motors.co.uk