Drivers and Mobile Phones

Woman driving while on phone

It may not be exactly a motorsport issue but a recent survey by the AA showed a huge number of people still using their phones at the wheel. While it’s unlikely Lewis Hamilton is texting while flying round Eau Rouge, although we are pretty sure he could do it if he wanted to, it is still something that everyone should think about.

20 Percent

Out of some 19,308 drivers questioned in the survey, over 20% said they simply could not bear to switch off their phone when they are driving. This fact may or may not come as a surprise depending on who is reading but seeing as it is totally illegal to use a phone while driving its quite a big number. Almost half of all younger drivers’ questioned admitted to not being able to cope without their phone for a whole journey. This would certainly match up with any casual observation of young people and their use of mobile devices.

The Law

According to the UK Government website it is illegal to use a mobile phone even when stopped at lights and in a queue. Unless you have voice command, a bluetooth headset or a dashboard holder the phone is totally off limits. It does also state you can only use a handsfree device if you are in full control of the vehicle and the police are allowed to stop you if they feel this is not the case. The penalty can be £200 and 6 points on the spot!

For many it is not clear if you can select a song for example, though this counts as using the phone. Also, if you are using a headset how do you dial? Many people may be caught out even though they felt they were using the right handsfree system.

Time

The AA survey also pointed out that changing the attitudes to drink driving took a very long time and that we are simply seeing a slow cultural shift. It is hard to think of anyone finding people chatting away holding a phone at 70mph acceptable anymore but selecting a song or simply looking at the screen to check for messages is still commonplace. Over time, even this will become socially unacceptable in line with the law.

Although our lovely team cannot help with the use or fitting of any handsfree devices or indeed if you are somewhat overreliant on your phone and can’t turn it off. What we can do, however, is offer years of experience and advice about all things related to fire suppression in all things car related.

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