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Growing number of UK motorists concerned over driver distraction

Driver distraction linked to all forms of mobile phone use is seen as a bigger threat to motorists than any other factor.

Man holding phone while driving

Driver distraction linked to all forms of mobile phone use remains the biggest issue affecting drivers’ perceptions of safety

Research commissioned by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart finds some 94% saw drivers checking or updating social media as a threat to their personal safety, while 93% said that was the case for drivers text messaging or e-mailing, and for 91% it was the case for drivers talking on mobile phones.

The analysis, carried out for the organisation’s second Safety Culture Survey on potential driving issues, also found 89% of respondents felt drink driving was a threat to their safety compared to 88% who felt that about those who took illegal drugs and then drove.

The research also found that over 86% of UK motorists think distraction caused by mobile phones has become worse in the last three years while 81% believe congestion is more of a problem. And early three-quarters (72%) believe aggressive driving (72%) has worsened over the last three years, with more than 60% reporting the same for drug-driving.

Published just weeks after the DfT said it’s pushing ahead with higher penalties for hanbd-held mobile phone drivers, the research also found huge approval for stricter measures to prevent and reduce drivers using mobile technology in cars.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “New road building and smart motorways will help with congestion but our survey has shown that UK motorists have real concerns about the way mobile phone technology could be a threat to their safety. More than 90% say checking social media, texting and talking on mobile phones whilst driving scares them – these are figures that cannot be ignored.

“It is important that Government, road safety bodies and car makers work together to allay the fear caused by distracted drivers. Recent tragic high profile cases – underline the need for a combination of education, safe design and enforcement to make sure that the high-tech benefits of our modern cars do not prove a threat to safety of all road users.”

To read the full survey click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.