Distracted driving caused 3,000 crashes and 93 deaths last year

Distracted driving caused 93 deaths in 2018

When it comes to distracted driving habits, it seems there’s still plenty that needs to change here in the UK.

Analysis of Department for Transport (DfT) figures shows that distracted drivers were involved in more than 3,000 road traffic accidents in 2018.

Of these 600 were considered serious, resulting in 93 tragic deaths on the road.

Are mobile phones to blame?

According to the data, mobile phones were a contributing factor in 92 of the 600 serious accidents and 25 of the fatalities.

This makes mobile devices responsible for more than a quarter of deaths caused by distracted driving on UK roads.

Other distractions identified in the data include passengers, pets, sat navs and listening to congestion warning systems.

Gary Stewart, Service Manager at Insurethebox which analysed the findings, commented on the grave reality of the new statistics. “These figures show 93 deaths and well over 600 serious accidents could have been prevented had the driver not been distracted,” he said.

“Today’s constant pressures to be constantly connected mean young drivers may well be tempted to pick up the phone to take a call, answer a text or respond to a social media notification.

“Young and newly qualified drivers who have the least experience on the roads are likely to be more vulnerable to dealing with in-car distractions.”

Crackdown on mobile use

A new law will be brought in next year to close a loophole that has allowed some drivers to get away with using their phone to take photographs or videos behind the wheel.

The use of handheld devices will be made illegal for all activity including texting, online browsing, navigation and the use of camera and music applications while driving.

Under current legislation, motorists caught using a hand-held device will receive a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.

This means that newly-qualified drivers with less than two years on the road risk losing their licence if caught using their phone behind the wheel.

Find out what other common distractions could be putting you at risk on the roads. Here are the top 10 driving distractions.

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