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Drivers resorting to mobiles for navigation

Almost half (46%) of drivers who admitted to using a mobile phone behind the wheel say they did so for navigation purposes, new research suggests.

One in 10 drivers believe the road safety risks of using a handheld phone are ‘overstated’

The research found 46% of drivers who use their mobile phones behind the wheel do so for navigation purposes

Carried out for Swinton Insurance in February 2019, the survey of 2,000 respondents by One Poll found that 16% admitted to using a handheld mobile phone while driving, rising to 30% of 17-24 year olds. Conversely only 4% of drivers over the age of 55 admitted to using their phone.

As well as using their phones to navigate, drivers also use them to answer calls and texts; almost a third (30%) of motorists in the survey admitted to this. And more than a quarter (27%) said they were using their mobiles to listen to music.

The survey also reinforced that the 1 March 2017 changes to the mobile phone driving laws, which doubled the number of points and the fines for being caught, are having an effect on driver behaviour. Official data shows that in 2017, the number of fixed penalty notices served to motorists for mobile phone use reduced by 34% overall.

The Swinton Insurance research found that most drivers stated that a driving ban (61%) and penalty points (59%) put them off mobile phone use.

However, a significant majority (70%) indicated that the fear of an accident was the main reason for not using a mobile phone while driving.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.