A report published today by the communications watchdog, Ofcom, has highlighted the extent of the UK’s mobile phone addiction.
The report found that smartphone owners cannot go 12 minutes without checking their phone and almost two-thirds describe it as an essential part of their lives.
Road safety charity, Brake, has expressed concerns about the UK’s mobile phone addiction and the devastating impact this could have on road safety.
Their ‘Phone smart’ campaign seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of illegal phone use behind the wheel and calls on the Government to invest in enforcement to provide an effective deterrent.
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
“In our modern world it may seem unsurprising that people can’t go 12 minutes without using their smartphone, but this ‘addiction’ can have deadly consequences if people can’t leave their phones alone whilst driving. A split-second distraction caused by a call, text or notification behind the wheel can be fatal. In 2016, 32 people were killed and 105 seriously injured in crashes involving a driver being distracted by their mobile phone, and this problem is getting worse year-on-year.”
“Illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel is all too common and action needs to be taken to rid our roads of this dangerous menace. We are calling on the Government to invest in greater awareness, more enforcement and tougher punishment of people who illegally use their phone at the wheel to provide an effective deterrent to this blight on our roads. Drivers need to understand that no call, text or social media update is worth risking a life.”
In 2016, Motors.co.uk launched its Time to Stop campaign to further raise awareness about the dangers of using a smartphone while driving.
Since then, the government and locals authorities have taken action to deter motorists from using devices – including the introduction of a £200 fine and six penalty points on their driver’s license for being caught in the act.