As many as eight per cent of drivers are using smartphones at the wheel and some are even announcing it proudly on twitter, according to road safety charity the IAM. This is equivalent to 3.5 million licence holders.
IAM research shows that using smartphones for social networking while driving is more dangerous than drink driving or being high on cannabis. It slows reaction times by up to 37 per cent. Despite the dangers, eight per cent of drivers admit to using smartphones for email and social networking while driving. Twenty-four per cent of 17-24 year old drivers – a group already at higher risk of being in a crash – admit to using smartphones for email and social networking while driving.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “That someone should risk their life on the motorway to announce to the world that they are eating percy pigs is simply staggering. The government must take the lead and make sure that motorists understand the dangers of using smartphones. Phone manufacturers and social network operators can also help reinforce the safety message.”