A new survey has revealed that 1 in 5 parents openly admit to using their mobile phone while driving with children in the car.
OSV Ltd, a leading vehicle leasing provider, had asked over 1,000 drivers about their motoring habits. The survey also found that dads were nearly twice as likely as mums to use their mobile, with 28% and 15% respectively admitting to the driving offense.
When asked to name what they find most distracting while driving, 60% said it was children or other passengers in the car. Only 17% said they found mobile phones to be the biggest distraction.
However, accident records indicate that mobile phone usage is the most deadly driving distraction. Statistics released by the Department for Transport show that out of 88 deaths that were caused by in-car distractions, 17 were due to mobile phone use – a higher rate than any other in-car cause.
During July, 361 drivers in Essex were reported for using a mobile phone while driving.
Mobile phones are known to cause lapses in concentration. Even a very brief lapse can be enough to result in a collision. In fact, statistics show that using a mobile phone behind the wheel makes a crash four times more likely.
UK law says that it’s illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive a vehicle while using a hand-held phone or similar device. That includes when you are stopped at lights or queuing in traffic.
Those caught in the act will be issued with an automatic penalty notice, which means 3 penalty points on your licence and a £100 fine. If the case goes to court, it could lead to disqualification from driving and a fine of up to £1,000.
Debbie Kirkley, Co-Founder of vehicle leasing company OSV Ltd is calling for parents to stop using mobile phones behind the wheel and set a better example for their children.
Debbie explains: “Parents are setting a terrible example to their children when they use their mobile phone while driving.”
“Children are regularly told off for using technology at inappropriate times, or told not to use technology in certain situations. The best way to teach your children that it is dangerous to use a mobile phone when driving is to set a good example and not use your own mobile phone while you are behind the wheel.”
“Taking your eyes off the road to read a text or make a quick call can be fatal and it is the duty of parents to behave responsibly.”