Young drivers risking lives with smartphones
- Coincides with driver awareness courses being run at football clubs across the UK
- Half of young drivers who have recently crashed say using their mobile phone was at least partly to blame
Half of young drivers who have recently crashed say using their mobile phone was at least partly to blame, according to new research*.
The most popular reason for using their phone was to text (23.58%), second was talking (14.63%), next was to update social media (6.5%) and lastly to use a smartphone app (5.69%).
Many young people who have been involved in a crash as a passenger also believed the crash was at least partly caused because the driver was using their mobile phone.
It is perhaps no surprise then that the majority of young drivers (60%) agreed updating social media when you are driving makes you more likely to have an accident.
Mark Peacock, head of BSM, said: “Using a mobile phone, whether you are texting, talking, using apps or updating social media, when you are driving is dangerous and illegal.
“Young drivers who have grown up with technology that encourages them to be contactable every minute of the day need to realise there are some situations when they need to concentrate on the present and ignore the lure of the phone and internet.
“Although it is a minority who are breaking the law in this way, we need to educate young drivers about these dangers so they are safer on the roads.”
Facebook was cited as the biggest social media distraction for young drivers with one in 5 (20%) saying they have gone on the site when they are driving.
Regional variations highlight trouble spots across the country where young drivers are playing a dangerous game behind the wheel.
One in 10 young drivers in the West Midlands admitted to playing Draw Something while they were driving. The national average for this was only 4 per cent.
A quarter (25 per cent) of young drivers in the East Midlands said they’d used email behind wheel, more than three times the national average (7 per cent).
Londoners were the most likely to say they have used twitter when driving (13.04 per cent), while one in ten Welsh drivers had watched youtube when driving.
Young drivers in the North East were most likely to have used Facebook on their phones when driving (27.66 per cent), the least likely to have done this were those in the South East (16.16 per cent).
The results coincide with driver awareness courses being run by BSM at football clubs across the country.
The first players going back to school this September are from Bolton Wanderers FC as they tackle new skills with the help of BSM driving instructors.
A group of footballers from the club’s academy will undergo specialist driver training on Friday, September 7th, designed to make them safer drivers.
The scheme has been organised by the PFA and will be run throughout the new season. Players, aged between 16 and 18, will get the opportunity to get behind the wheel in a driving school car with a BSM instructor. If they already have their license they will be taken out on the road for a refresher lesson and commentary driving.
If they do not have their license they will be able to take part in the off-road activities, like driving while texting and wearing beer goggle, to demonstrate how dangerous these activities are when driving.
They will also take part in classroom sessions to increase awareness of the general dangers of driving.
Mark Peacock, head of BSM, said: “Education is key to helping young drivers stay safe.
“Bolton Wanderers FC is setting a fantastic example by taking such a positive and proactive approach to keeping their young players safe on the roads.”
Linda Watt, head of education and welfare at Bolton Wanderers FC, said: “This is an important part of their education. I hope what they will learn will stay with them and make them think twice about the importance of keeping themselves and others safe on the roads.”
OnePoll surveyed 1,000 drivers aged between 17 and 24 between 21stJune 2012 and 29th June 2012, on behalf of BSM.
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