1 in 6 have used the internet while driving
The online poll by YouGov, commissioned by car dealer Evans Halshaw, shows how many drivers who own a mobile phone are using the internet while driving, despite it being against the law. Respondents were asked whether they used the internet while at the wheel, including reading or sending an email, checking their social media accounts, browsing websites or checking for traffic updates.
The survey revealed that men are the main culprits for using the internet with a mobile phone while driving; 21% of men admitted to the offence compared to just 14% of women.
Reading or sending an email while driving was the most common act (10%), with checking social media accounts coming in second (7%) and browsing websites third (5%).
Respondents aged between 25 and 34 were most likely to say they checked their social media accounts while driving (16%). This demographic was also the most likely to read or send an email (16%) and check for traffic updates (14%) while in the driving seat.
The survey also found that almost a third of those surveyed (31%) had read or sent a text message while driving and 25% had made or received a non-hands free phone call.
In both cases, males were more likely than women to carry out these actions; 32% of men vs 30% of women read/sent a text and 28% of men vs 21% of women made/received a call without using a hands-free system.
Anyone caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel, including while stopped at traffic lights, will be issued a fixed penalty notice for a £100 fine and three points on their license. The case could also potentially go to court where the driver could receive a maximum fine of £1,000 and be disqualified from driving.
Emma Pochin, group marketing leader at Evans Halshaw, said: ‘This survey highlights how many people are using the internet behind the wheel and, as we suspected, it’s an uncomfortably high number.
‘The research shows the trend for surfing behind the wheel is particularly prevalent among young people. Work needs doing in order to raise the awareness of the dangers and consequences of surfing behind the wheel.’