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The UK’s mobile phone addiction could have a devastating impact on road safety – road safety charity Brake comments on recent Ofcom report

Written by Editorial Team, Donr

Published on Friday, 3rd August 2018

A recent report from Ofcom suggests that smartphone owners in the UK cannot go 12 minutes without checking their mobile.

 A report published at the start of August by Ofcom, the communications watchdog, highlighted the extent of the UK’s collective mobile phone addiction. The report found that those with smartphones cannot go 12 minutes without checking their mobile.

Two thirds of participants described their smartphone as an essential part of their lives.

Brake is a UK-based road safety charity and its staff are particularly concerned about the effect this apparent addiction to mobile phones could have on the UK’s road users’ safety. The charity’s ‘Phone smart’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal phone use while driving and calls on the UK Government to invest in enforcement to provide an effective deterrent. 

‘In our modern world, it may seem unsurprising that people can’t go 12 minutes without using their smartphone, but this ‘addiction’ can have deadly consequences if people can’t leave their phones alone whilst driving,’ said Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake.

‘A split-second distraction caused by a call, text or notification behind the wheel can be fatal.

‘In 2016, 32 people were killed and 105 seriously injured in crashes involving a driver being distracted by their mobile phone, and this problem is getting worse year-on-year.

‘Illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel is all too common and action needs to be taken to rid our roads of this dangerous menace,’ he continued. ‘We are calling on the Government to invest in greater awareness, more enforcement and tougher punishment of people who illegally use their phone at the wheel to provide an effective deterrent to this blight on our roads.

‘Drivers need to understand that no call, text or social media update is worth risking a life.’