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Dangers of Driving while using a Mobile Phone

Many motorists throughout Britain regularly use a mobile phone while driving despite the clear and obvious dangers that it poses and the fact that it is against the law to do so.

Although there are no concrete statistics to state exactly how many people have been injured or killed as a result of mobile-using motorists, experts regard the use of a mobile handset whilst driving as one of the biggest causes of car accidents. In fact, research shows that such careless and law-breaking individuals are four times more likely to crash than those who refrain from using a mobile handset while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Effects of using a mobile phone whilst driving

Research carried out by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) found that people who use a mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free, while driving are significantly distracted and are more likely to be involved in an accident.

The RoSPA findings showed that drivers who use a mobile phone:

Current legislation

In an effort to reduce the number of car accident casualties in the UK, the government introduced new legislation on December 1st 2003 prohibiting motorists from using a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, while driving. Under this law, it is also an offence to “cause or permit” a driver to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving, or to use a hand-held mobile phone while supervising a driver who only has a provisional licence. However, the use of hands-free mobiles is not banned in the UK.

Penalties

In Britain, a person caught using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving faces a fine of £60 and the addition of three penalty points to their driving licence.

Hands-free mobiles

Many people use a hands-free phone whilst driving because they believe it is significantly safer than using a hand-held mobile. However, this is not the case as the use of a hands-free kit while driving still mentally distracts the driver and increases the risk of an accident occurring.

Even though there is no legislation against hands-free kits, drivers should note that the police can apply careless or dangerous driving laws to those who use a hands-free phone if they believe the driver’s phone conversation prevented them from being in full control of their vehicle.

Therefore, the safest option for motorists is to ensure their mobile phone is turned off and put away when driving.