By Stewart Smith on 2016-11-23 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
Phone use in cars on
WE'VE all seen the idiots clutching mobiles to their ears while driving and the problem is getting worse according to the latest safety survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
It says that more than 86 per cent of UK motorists think distraction caused by mobile phones has increased in the past three years and believe the dangers of mobile phones and technology are bigger threats than any other factor on the roads.
The results of the survey, which asked about the potential problems faced by motorists now compared to three years ago identified worsening congestion as the second biggest problem according to 81 per cent 2,000 drivers questioned in the IAM RoadSmart report.
Also revealed was the fact that nearly three quarters believed aggressive driving had worsened over the same period and more than 60 per cent reporting the same for drug-driving.
IAM RoadSmart's Safety Culture Survey was produced for the first time last year. It looks at UK motorists' safety attitudes and behaviour and has just been updated for 2016.
Some 94 per cent of those questioned saw drivers checking or updating social media as a threat to their personal safety, while 93 per cent said that was the case for drivers text messaging or e-mailing, and for 91 per cent it was the case for drivers talking on mobile phones. This was higher than the perceived threat from drink and drug driving.
Not surprisingly, those surveyed thought the problems were caused by others, and not them with 91 per cent saying they had never used the internet whilst driving in the past 30 days, 88 per cent had not sent a text or email whilst driving, 82 per cent had not read a text message or email whilst driving and 79 per cent had not talked on a mobile phone.
There was also huge approval for stricter measures to prevent and reduce drivers using mobile technology in cars.
Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: "The worries and concerns of Britain's 32 million drivers should be listened to. Whilst we can all take more responsibility for our actions it is clear that distraction and congestion are the two biggest bug bears for drivers today.
"New road building and smart motorways will help with congestion but our survey has shown that UK motorists have real concerns about the way mobile phone technology could be a threat to their safety. More than 90 per cent say checking social media, texting and talking on mobile phones whilst driving scares them - these are figures that cannot be ignored."
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