Men & young drivers most likely to use mobile phone behind the wheel
Held in the wake of the announcement that Parliament are considering doubling driving licence penalty points from 3 to 6 for using a mobile phone, the survey of 1000 UK adults by intelligentcarleasing.com asked ‘Have you held a mobile phone whilst driving in the last 30 days?’
One of the most surprising findings is that male drivers are more than double as likely to use a mobile phone whilst in control of a vehicle as women. Out of all respondents 10.0% of male drivers admitted to using a mobile phone while driving but only 4.5% of women claimed the same.
Younger drivers are also exposing other road users to a much greater level of risk; as they make up the majority of drivers who admit to mobile phone use while driving. 18-24 years olds were 100% more likely to use a phone than the survey average, whilst 25-34 year olds were an astonishing 231% above average.
The overall results showed the following responses: yes – 6.2%, no – 67.7% and don’t drive – 26.1%.
The survey also reveals much higher levels of mobile phone usage than the Government’s official figures from primary research. An observational survey by the Department for Transport in 2009 showed that 1.4% of car drivers used a hand-held mobile device while driving.
The plans to increase the number of points to 6 from 3 have been put forward by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. However lack of punishment may not be the problem; as a recent study by the RAC showed that 12% of drivers don’t know that texting whilst calling is illegal and a shocking 21% of drivers don’t know that using social media on a mobile whilst driving is illegal.
Sarah Rice, spokeswoman for the RAC, said: ‘Increasing licence points may act as a deterrent in the short term, but if there is no improved enforcement behind it then the move is unlikely to change behaviour in the long run.’