When we launched our #DrivingHomeForChristmas campaign at the start of the month, we asked you to share your December driving experiences with us on social media. We also issued a plea: that you take a break or finish your journey before doing so. This was no frivolous request. Using a mobile phone at the wheel is not just illegal; it’s dangerous.
Road accidents involving mobile phones
According to the latest Government figures, there were 478 accidents in Britain last year for which police officers recorded ‘Driver using mobile phone’ as a contributory factor. Those accidents claimed the lives of 35 people and left another 137 seriously injured. As the graph below shows, that made 2016 the worst year for mobile phone-related road deaths since at least 2010.
Penalties for using your mobile phone while driving
Back in March, as we reported at the time, the Government introduced tougher penalties on people caught using their mobile phones while driving. They now face a £200 fine and six points on their licence – double the previous sanctions.
That crackdown was accompanied by a campaign of videos and posters, designed to impress upon drivers the risks associated with mobile phone use at the wheel – whether it’s the increased likelihood of crashing or the threat of a fine.
More recently, THINK! has made mobile phones the focus of a new road safety campaign. The centrepiece of that campaign is the video below, which demonstrates just how much drivers can miss as they glance at their mobile phones. We won’t spoil the point of the video by explaining it more fully. Just watch it for yourself…
So, please do take part in our #DrivingHomeForChristmas campaign. Use that hashtag to share anecdotes, photos, songs and anything else that makes your Christmas journeys special. Just make sure you put your phone away while you’re actually driving.