A new study has found that motorists in the UK consider themselves to be more law-abiding than drivers in many other countries when it comes to using a mobile phone while driving.
The study by Aviva looked at data relating to 13 countries across Europe, North America and Asia. All of the countries in which people were questioned have laws making it illegal to use a mobile phone without a hands-free kit while driving. Researchers found that UK drivers are least likely to say they have ever made a call, sent a text message, or checked social media while in charge of a vehicle, than motorists from any of the other nations surveyed.
However, according to the study, the UK still has its share of drivers prepared to illegally use a mobile phone behind the wheel. One in five UK drivers (20%) said they had made a phone call while driving without using a hands-free kit, which is prohibited under UK law. The comparable global average figure is 48%. Drivers in the USA and China were revealed as the motorists most likely to say they had made a call while at the wheel, with 63% and 76% of respondents respectively admitting the misdemeanour.
Thirteen percent of UK drivers said they had sent a text while driving, compared to the global average of 31%, while 7% of UK motorists said they had checked or posted on social media while behind the wheel, lower than the global average of 17%.
UK motorists were also least likely to say they had taken or uploaded images on social media while driving (4% vs global average of 14%).
The research was carried out shortly after 1st March 2017, when stricter penalties were introduced in the UK for using mobile phones while driving. The new UK laws doubled fines to £200 and increased the number of license points to six.
Although reported mobile phone use is still unacceptably high, there has been a slight fall compared to the findings of a similar study conducted by Aviva in August last year.
This earlier study found that 21% of people across all age groups in the UK admitted answering a call on their mobile without a hands-free kit while driving, and 16% had sent a text or other form of message.
“It’s great to see that the vast majority of UK motorists say they aren’t using their phones while driving, but 20% making calls behind the wheel is still 20% too many, so we’re urging drivers everywhere to stick to the law and wait until they can park before picking up their phone,” commented Adam Beckett, Propositions Director for Aviva UK.
“The consequences of not paying full attention to the road can be catastrophic, so the message is clear: whether you are moving or stationary in traffic, that call or message can wait,” he added.
If you have been charged with a road traffic offence, including using a mobile phone while driving, then contact our specialist criminal defence lawyers today.