31% of drivers are distracted by mobile phones

driver on phone

Published on 15 September 2016 by Robert Drane

This week, the RAC released its Report on Motoring – an annual document detailing the opinions of road-users and state of the road network. It revealed some staggering figures:

  • 31% of drivers admit to using a phone at the wheel, a vast increase from 8% in 2014.
  • 12% of drivers still think that it is okay to use a mobile phone. It has been illegal since 2003.

The RAC said that the situation was "the biggest road safety concern among motorists today".


Read more: BMF welcomes new TfL road safety campaign (October 2015)


More motorists also more admit to breaking speed limits and drug-driving.

79% want to see laws enforced more effectively. Since 2010, the number of full-time road policing officers has plummeted by 27%. 62% of road users “now believe there are not enough traffic police on our roads”.

According to the BBC, the government is due to propose tougher punishments for the illegal use of phones.

Pete Williams, RAC’s road safety spokesman, said: "It is alarming to see that some drivers have clearly relaxed their attitudes to the risks associated with this behaviour but more worrying is the increase in the percentage of motorists who actually admit to using a handheld device when driving.

"The fact that drivers have little or no confidence that they will be caught when breaking these laws is a likely contributor to the problem. It is sadly the case that, every day, most road users see other drivers brazenly using their handheld phones when in control of a vehicle – a sight which should be a thing of the past."

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