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Mobile phone use still top 10 peeve for drivers despite offences declining

Other drivers’ use of mobile phones is seen as the most annoying habit on the road despite offences declining.

The tool calculates a distracted driving score from 1-10 for the driver after each trip

The data finds convictions for mobile use were down across the country in 2018, except in three regions: Yorkshire, North East and East Midlands

Data, published by Kwik Fit following a survey of more than 2,000 drivers, found that seeing other motorists using a mobile phone handset to talk, text or use social media sits in the top five most annoying habits for 56% of drivers. This is more than tailgating (50%), failing to indicate (49%) and dangerous overtaking (38%).

However, there has been a national decrease in the number of motorists receiving penalty points for using a mobile phone behind the wheel. New figures obtained by Kwik Fit through a Freedom of Information request show that the number of drivers committing a CU80 offence, defined as a ‘breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone’, fell by 19% nationally between 2017 and 2018.

The biggest percentage drop was in London, where the number of drivers convicted fell by 32.3%, followed by the South East and the North West, which saw decreases of 22.5% and 18.9% respectively.

The figures have been published two weeks after latest Home Office data on the number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued by police last year showed the number of drivers given FPNs for mobile phone use fell by 27% to 38,601 from 52,993 in 2017.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “It’s vital for road safety that we make using the phone when driving as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving. Until we have fully autonomous vehicles, anything which diverts a driver’s attention from the road is a risk to their safety and those of the road users around them.”

Table 1: Number of drivers issued with penalty points for CU80 offence

Region Number of drivers YOY change
2017 2018
East Midlands 1965 2077 5.7%
East of England 5890 5172 -12.2%
London 9021 6109 -32.3%
North East 696 752 8.0%
North West 2711 2198 -18.9%
Scotland 2920 2435 -16.6%
South East 5730 4438 -22.5%
South West 2265 2116 -6.6%
Wales 1560 1414 -9.4%
West Midlands 3320 2921 -12.0%
Yorkshire and The Humber 1560 1912 22.6%
Region unknown 949 900 -5.2%
GB Total 38587 32444 -15.9%

Source: Freedom of Information request to DVLA, 2019

Table 2: The most annoying habits made by other drivers

Habit in other motorists Proportion of drivers selecting it in their top five annoying habits
Using a mobile phone handset to talk / text

or use social media

56%
Tailgating 50%
Failing to indicate 49%
Dangerous overtaking 38%
Changing lane with indicating 33%
Last minute braking 24%
Middle lane cruising / hogging 24%
Speeding 23%
Hesitant driving 18%
Jumping lights 18%

Source: Research for Kwik Fit, 2019

 

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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.

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