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Phone addiction could be ‘deadly’ on roads

DISTRACTED: Brake says illegal phone use behind the wheel is all to common. Picture posed by model. Photo credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
DISTRACTED: Brake says illegal phone use behind the wheel is all to common. Picture posed by model. Photo credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Road safety charity Brake has warned about the ‘deadly consequences’ of the UK’s mobile phone addiction on distracted drivers after it was revealed smartphone owners cannot go 12 minutes without checking their mobile.

The 12-minute statistic was revealed in a report by the communications watchdog, Ofcom, which highlighted the extent of the UK’s mobile phone use.

The report, published late last week, also found that almost two thirds describe their mobile phone as an essential part of their lives.

Road safety charity, Brake, has expressed concerns about the UK’s mobile phone addiction and the devastating impact this could have on road safety.

Its director of campaigns, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “In our modern world it may seem unsurprising that people can’t go 12 minutes without using their smartphone, but this ‘addiction’ can have deadly consequences if people can’t leave their phones alone whilst driving. A split-second distraction caused by a call, text or notification behind the wheel can be fatal.”

Brake’s ‘Phone smart’ campaign seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of illegal phone use behind the wheel and calls on the Government to invest in enforcement to provide an effective deterrent.

Mr Harris added: “In 2016, 32 people were killed and 105 seriously injured in crashes involving a driver being distracted by their mobile phone, and this problem is getting worse year-on-year.”

“Illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel is all too common and action needs to be taken to rid our roads of this dangerous menace. We are calling on the Government to invest in greater awareness, more enforcement and tougher punishment of people who illegally use their phone at the wheel to provide an effective deterrent to this blight on our roads. Drivers need to understand that no call, text or social media update is worth risking a life.”