Having a mobile phone available in a car can be a great help in an emergency and provides security and reassurance for the driver. However, using a mobile phone, Satnav or similar device is extremely dangerous whilst driving, as they can easily distract your attention from the road.
Did you know that you are up to four times more likely to have a crash if you use a mobile phone while driving and your reaction times are 50% worse than when driving normally. Even if you see yourself as a careful driver, all it takes is a phone call or one text message to cause a split-second lapse of focus and concentration which could result in a fatal crash.
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Mobile phones and driving
Under no circumstances should you make or receive calls, send or receive picture and text messages or access the internet whilst driving, stopped at traffic lights or when queuing in traffic.
It’s advisable to turn off your phone when you get into your vehicle to resist the temptation. If you do forget and your phone starts to ring, let it go to voicemail and listen to the message when you have stopped in a safe place.
Remember: Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency.
Some people think that it’s still ok to use a hands-free phone whilst driving, but this is not the case as these can be just as distracting.
It’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile when driving on the road. If you are caught breaking this law you can be fined £100 and three penalty points on your licence, which could result in higher insurance premiums. However, in some circumstances a police officer could consider that the offence was so blatant or protracted that the case may be requested to go to court where the maximum fine could be as high as £1,000. (£2,500 if the vehicle is a lorry, bus or coach).
If you are involved in a crash whilst using a mobile phone, you could be prosecuted for careless driving, dangerous driving or, if someone is killed, for causing death by careless or dangerous driving. But the fines can be much higher and prison becomes almost certain if a death is caused. Can you deal with having a conscience?