We’re a nation of phone users (some would say addicts) – we love texting, calling, emailing and nosing through our social media feeds. But like most addictions, they don’t always happen at the most appropriate times. If you’re in the car and tempted to check out the message that’s just pinged on your phone, or fancy giving your best mate a call to finalise last minute plans – then don’t. Not only is using a mobile phone whilst you’re driving dangerous, it can also have terrible consequences.
There were 22 fatal accidents in 2015 that were as a direct result of drivers being distracted by their mobile phones. So to crackdown harder, the government has announced that anyone caught on their phone behind the wheel will receive six penalty points instead of the previous three and on the spot fines will now be £200 instead of £100. The new penalties are likely to come into effect in the early part of 2017.
Whilst drivers are taking more care on the roads overall – the number of people seriously hurt in road traffic accidents actually declined by 3% in 2015 compared to the year before; more people are using their phones behind the wheel. Astoundingly, 31% of people admitted that they used their phones while driving in 2015 – compared to just 8% 2014. Even more worrying is the 14% who said they’d taken photos or videos when they should have been concentrating on the road.
And if you’re a new driver and get caught using your phone when driving, then you’ll face an immediate ban. Because as a new driver you’re only allowed six points in the first two years after passing your test – so do the wrong thing and get caught and you can kiss your licence goodbye.
So, the moral of the story? Stay safe and don’t use your mobile when driving. So do your conscience a favour and keep yourself and others safe by stashing your phone somewhere out of sight and reach. And don’t wait until circumstances force you to – looking for best price car insurance and mobile phone tariffs should be just what you always do – and we can make it easy, just click and compare.