The Dangers of Driving and Texting

Safe driving techniques are instilled in all of our pupils from your very first lessons until you pass your test with us. Despite this and the best efforts of driving instructors across the UK, there are still a number of people who make the potentially fatal error of using their mobile phone whilst driving.

Whether you are taking a call or possibly even worse, sending a text, the danger of this cannot be overstated. To help provide a little further insight into how things change when using a mobile device whilst driving, please check out the information below.

Using ANY mobile phone when driving is dangerous

Using a mobile phone, Sat Nav or any similar device whilst driving means that the driver’s attention is distracted from the road.

The facts

  • Studies show that drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.
  • Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.

The law

  • It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving.
  • This includes using your mobile phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
  • If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 3 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £100. Points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs.
  • If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
  • You may use a hands-free phone while driving but you can still be prosecuted if you’re not in proper control of your vehicle. The penalties are same as being caught using a handheld phone.
  • The penalties for driving carelessly or dangerously when using a handheld or hands-free phone can include disqualification, a large fine and up to two years imprisonment.

Mobile phones and driving

THINK! Advice

Switch off before you drive off

Even if you’re using a hands-free phone you should avoid making or answering calls when driving
All phone calls distract drivers’ attention from the road.

Park safely before using your mobile phone
Do not park on the hard shoulder of the motorway.

Don’t call other people when they’re driving
If you call someone and they tell you they are driving, ask them to call you back when they have parked up safely.

Thanks to some of the great people at Think! for this information – http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html

 

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