Drivers urged to switch off phones
Drivers should tune in to road safety by turning off their mobile phones, according to campaigners.
The message, part of a campaign from the Brake charity, comes at the start of Road Safety Week, and is supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
Brake wants to see drivers turning off their phones or putting them in the boot and also urges everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who is driving.
Brake, with Specsavers and mobile workforce management solutions company Romex, revealed survey results showing:
:: 575,000 UK drivers have points on their licence for using their mobile phone at the wheel or being otherwise distracted;
:: Of these, 6.5% have totted up six points or more;
:: 62% of children aged 7-11 report being driven by a driver talking on a phone and 79% have spotted drivers on mobile phones outside their school or home.
Brake also highlighted research showing that 98% of drivers are unable to divide their time without it affecting performance and that mobile phone use at the wheel as well as eating, drinking and smoking are all proven to increase the risk of a crash.
Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: "We're living in an age when being constantly connected is the norm. More and more of us have smartphones, and find it hard to switch off, even for a minute.
"While there are enormous benefits to this new technology, it's also posing dangerous temptations to drivers to divert their concentration away from the critical task at hand, often putting our most vulnerable road users in danger.
"Many people who wouldn't dream of drink-driving are succumbing to using their phone and other distractions while driving, oblivious that the effect can be similar and the consequences just as horrific."