Using ANY mobile phone when driving is dangerous
Using a mobile phone, sat nav, or any similar device whilst driving means that the driver’s attention is distracted from the road. Studies show that drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards, even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text and a lapse in concentration could result in a crash.
The law state's that it is illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving. This includes using your mobile phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop. If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200. Points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs.
You may use a hands-free phone while driving but you can still be prosecuted if you’re not in proper control of your vehicle. The penalties are same as being caught using a handheld phone. The penalties for driving carelessly or dangerously when using a handheld or hands-free phone can include disqualification, a large fine and up to two years imprisonment.
A recent study in Sweden considering the growing research base on the subject concludes: "There is no evidence suggesting that hands-free mobile phone use is less risky than handheld use. Nevertheless, a large percentage of drivers think that hands-free sets are much safer to use than handheld sets.”
Using a mobile telephone in the car leads to an increase in reaction times and also in the number of 'missed events'. If your telephone is ringing and you need to answer the call, find a safe place to pull over and turn off the engine before you pick up the phone.
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