Shocking survey into drivers using phones - and Leeds is sizeable part of problem

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A worrying 8 million UK drivers are still using their mobile phone while driving and Leeds is a sizeable part of the problem.

Despite 90 per cent of people in the city knowing it’s illegal to use their phone while driving, a survey has revealed people admitting to texting, surfing the net and checking social media at the wheel.

Some even use dating apps or make an online purchase.

Law firm Jefferies Solicitors, who commissioned the survey, scarily found that half of people in Leeds who have used their phone while driving have done so travelling at speeds ranging from 11mph to 40mph.

Managing director Michael Jefferies said: “It’s worrying to see that people continue to take risks, despite being aware that using their mobile phone while driving is illegal.

“We see a large number of motoring offence claims involving serious injuries or fatalities – and more recently, mobile phone use is investigated following a collision to determine the cause.

“These types of accidents can easily be avoided if drivers only use their phones when it’s safe to do so.”

The findings came to light just after the Pokémon Go craze swept the nation, and the results have refocused attention on the use of mobiles at the wheel.

The survey also showed that nearly a quarter, 21 per cent, of the city’s drivers keep their phone somewhere easily accessible in the car, such as next to the handbrake. Just over half leave their device in their pocket or handbag. But only 11 per cent keep it safely out of reach, such as on the back seat.

A third of people in Leeds see another driver using their phone every day and 95 per cent are bothered by this. And 43 per cent go as far as to react, such as shouting, beeping, or gesturing. Almost everyone in the area, 90 per cent, wants a zero tolerance approach to be implemented.

The survey of 1,172 people was conducted by Censuswide for Jefferies in July.

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