Neville Hobson

Too many crazy drivers

The news last week of a woman motorist sent to jail for running down a cyclist while she was sending a text message on her mobile phone is a sobering thought for every driver.

Even though I use a hands-free phone kit when I’m out in my car – either my TomTom or the very neat TalkTool – it always makes me uneasy when receiving a call while driving.

You are distracted, there’s no question about it. So I tend not to use a phone at all in the car unless I’m stationary, eg, in too-often traffic jams especially in London, or parked.

It’s easy not to use the phone in the car – just switch it off!

Yet I often wonder if some people have a real problem with phones and cars.

Even though the penalty in the UK for being caught using a phone while driving – whether talking or texting – is a £60 fine and three penalty points on your license, I still see so many people with a mobile stuck to their ear while driving.

And surely most people would never try and send a text message while driving, unlike the hapless motorist now in jail. She’s not typical surely?

Well, I’m not so sure after reading about a survey carried out by the RAC Foundation among some Facebook users.

Some alarming results:

[…] 45% of UK drivers use short message services (SMS) whilst driving. Only 11% of motorists turn off their phones or switch them to mute – leaving 89% of drivers open to the distractions caused by mobile phones.

Wow. Nearly half the drivers surveyed use their phones for sending text messages while driving.

That is crazy. Where did common sense disappear to?

I’m going to be an even more defensive driver now.

You can read more on the RAC Foundation blog including explanations of the survey and methodology plus the RAC’s view on what needs to be done to address this problem.

Incidentally, the RAC’s survey covered just 2,002 people, hardly feasible to project the results out to the entire UK driving population.

Then again…

(Image source. The one above is flipped.)

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