Road safety charities have called on phone companies to supply handsets with a driving mode that automatically disables the phone while travelling in a car.
The campaign group was started by motoring organisation the RAC, and is calling on the phone industry to create a setting that disables all calls and texts while you are behind the wheel, leaving the phone is a ‘do not disturb’ mode. This has been backed by Brake and Be Phone smart.
The idea behind the campaign is to tackle the number of people ‘needlessly’ killed or seriously injured every year in crashes related to mobile phone use while driving.
Director of campaigns for Brake, Jason Wakefield, said: “The illegal use of handheld mobile phones when driving is a growing menace and a major threat to road safety.
“Research shows that using a phone at the wheel affects reaction times as much as drink driving, increasing the chances of a crash.
“As a society, we have become addicted to our mobile phones, but a split second distraction caused by a call, text or notification behind the wheel can be deadly.
“The industry must play its part and include technology as standard which helps keep drivers’ attention on the road, saving lives and preventing serious injuries.”
The group has already written to several mobile companies, including Android and Microsoft. It has also written to Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, in order to ask them to back the campaign.
According to statistics, motorists who persist in flouting the law and use a hand-held phone while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a crash that causes injury.