Calls to ban phone use while driving

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Calls from family members, friends and work are among the most dangerous distractions for people when behind the wheel, new figures reveal.

Latest survey results show that during the last year almost a quarter of drivers used their phone while driving to speak to their family.

Nearly 20 per cent of motorists surveyed admitted to taking a call from their work while behind the wheel and 15 per cent said they had spoken to friends.

The survey results, released by road safety charity Brake, include handheld and hands-free calls.

Now the charity is urging the government to ban phone use entirely while driving.

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It said answering calls when on the road makes drivers four times more likely to be involved in a crash that causes injury.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: “It is a sobering thought that a significant number of these life-threatening distractions come from drivers’ own friends and family.

“That’s why we’re urging people to put their loved ones safety first by refusing to speak to them on the phone while they are driving.

“Employers, too, have an important responsibility to make sure they are not putting their employees in danger.”

Brake is urging motorists to take breaks from driving during calls and stop for a minimum of 15 minutes, at least every two hours, to rest and respond to phone messages.

The charity is also appealing to drivers’ friends, family members, employers and colleagues to not call or continue conversations with them while they are on the road.

Mrs Townsend added: “Our appeal to drivers all year-round is take regular breaks, at least every two hours, and use these for calls and to recharge.

“No call or message is so important that it can’t wait until you’re safely off the road.”

Visit www.brake.org.uk for more information about Brake’s phone campaign.

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FACTFILE

Road safety charity Brake is urging the government to introduce a total ban on using phones while driving.

It comes after the charity released survey results, showing the top phone distractions for motorists in the past year, which include:

Almost 20 per cent of drivers admitted to taking a work-related call while behind the wheel.

Fifteen per cent said they had spoken to friends while driving.

Nearly a quarter of drivers admitted to answering their phone to talk to family.

Brake warns that drivers are four times as likely to crash while using the phone.

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