The dangerous temptation of technology

Published: 28/03/2012

48 per cent of drivers aged 18-25 have admitted using gadgets such as iPods and Smartphones whilst driving, according to the RAC Report on Motoring.

However, it is not only younger drivers who are guilty of fiddling with such technologies; the report highlights mobile phone usage whilst driving is accelerating amongst all drivers. 13 per cent of drivers have admitted to reading and/or replying to a text message whilst driving, describing it as “impossible to resist.” This temptation, however, could lead to devastation.

According to the Department of Transport’s Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2010 Annual Report, drivers using their mobile phone accounted for nearly 350 accidents, 26 of which ended in a fatality. And as Smartphones continue to advance – they can now moonlight as a navigation device (9 per cent of drivers have admitted using Google Maps via their phone whilst driving) – this dangerous temptation is only likely to increase, with road accidents having the potential to follow suit.

Common driving distractions

Apps used while driving All Drivers Young drivers (18 – 24)
Using Google/other maps 9% 22%
Sending/reading emails 9% 23%
Listening to an iPod/music 8% 24%
Using Blackberry/Instant Messenger 6% 13%
Using Twitter 3% 11%
Playing Games 3% 8%¹

Adrian Tink is an RAC Motoring Strategist:

“Drivers using handheld mobile phones is still an all too common sight, and one that appears to be getting worse. The popularity of Smartphones and apps, especially among younger drivers who’ve grown up with the technology, risks creating a new generation of drivers who believe using a phone behind the wheel is acceptable. This has to change.

“At 70mph your car travels around the length of 6 double decker busses every 2 seconds – if someone told you to close your eyes at that speed for that length of time you’d think they were crazy – yet people are doing virtually the same thing by taking their eyes of the road to look at phones.”¹

¹RAC (Sep 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

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