Half of Leeds drivers use phone at wheel

Using a mobile phone while driving. Picture posed by model. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Using a mobile phone while driving. Picture posed by model. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Nearly two-thirds of drivers in Leeds have admitted to being distracted by using a mobile phone while behind the wheel.

This is despite tough new laws, introduced a year ago, which doubled penalties to six points and a £200 fine.

New research by retailer The Car People found 65 per cent of drivers in Leeds still use their phone at the wheel. The survey also revealed 15 per cent of Leeds drivers have experienced a near miss behind the wheel while using their phone.

Although Government figures show that 18 to 24-year olds are the most overrepresented in car crashes, the new research reveals that when it comes to mobile phones, it is now drivers aged 25 to 34 that are the most distracted. More than three quarters of UK drivers in that age group admitted phones were a factor.

Jonathan Allbones, director at The Car People said: “It’s a real concern to hear just how distracting mobile phones continue to be for local drivers. We were surprised to find that drivers aged 25 to 34 are the most likely to be distracted by their mobile, though the fact that drivers in the youngest age group were less likely to be distracted is promising and suggests that the new rules around driving with a mobile could be having some impact. It’s important that older drivers don’t get complacent though as using a mobile while driving is both against the law and very dangerous.”

The survey asked 1,500 British drivers what distracts them when behind the wheel and how it impacts on their driving.

It found that getting a phone call, 31 percent, receiving a new message notification, 21 per cent, and using their phone for directions, 23 per cent, were the most common distractions for drivers in Leeds.

Passengers can be also be a huge distraction for people when they are driving, with almost a third admitting that they chat to others when they should be focusing on the road.

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