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Road Traffic Accidents Caused by Drivers Using a Phone behind the Wheel

Drivers caught using a mobile phone while behind the wheel in the UK, risk losing their licence. The number of drivers who have been caught responding to a text message, answering a call or using an app or navigation feature on their mobile phone while driving a vehicle in the UK is astounding, especially when you consider the risk they are taking.

We all laugh at viral videos showing people walking into lampposts whilst looking down and using their mobile phone, but the danger of distraction could easily lead to a serious accident on the road. If you can’t walk and use your mobile phone, what makes you think that you can drive and text? Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and if you don’t focus 100% on the road ahead, you are putting yourself, your passengers and other road users at serious risk.

In 2015, 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents involving a driver who has been using a phone at the wheel. (1) Yet a recent survey revealed that many drivers admit to performing distracting tasks while behind the wheel, including using their mobile phone. (2) The penalty for using a phone while at the wheel was doubled this year (2017) in a bid to deter drivers from the temptation to drive and text. New drivers will now receive six points on their licence if they’re caught using their phone while driving, and also be required to retake their practical and theory test. More experienced drivers risk being banned.

Despite the change to the law, in the four weeks after the penalties were increased, police recorded a total of 5,977 instances of drivers using their phone behind the wheel. (3) However, not all road traffic accidents are thoroughly investigated to determine whether the use of a hand held device or phone was a direct cause of an accident. Only cases involving fatalities or life changing injuries are investigated for distraction via mobile phone.

In July, police released a video of a fatal crash involving a lorry driver who was video-recorded, via a dash cam, changing music on his mobile phone before hitting and killing one adult and three children, who were in a vehicle in front, which had stopped in traffic. The shocking footage reveals the true devastation that can be caused by using a mobile phone while in control of a vehicle. To watch the video, visit The Independent.  The police urge drivers to put their phones in the glove compartment so that they won’t be tempted to use it while in traffic, at traffic lights or any other time while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Road traffic accidents involving a driver who has been texting or using their phone behind the wheel, can leave victims with serious and life changing injuries. Our team of specialist road traffic accident solicitors are always on hand to offer legal advice and support to those affected by a road traffic accident that wasn’t their fault. For more information please feel free to contact us now on 0151 236 1222 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Sources:

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39118523
  2. http://www.brake.org.uk/rsw/15-facts-a-resources/facts/1131-distractionfacts
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/29/200-drivers-a-day-caught-using-phones-on-uk-roads-after-crackdown

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