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15% of young drivers admit taking a selfie at the wheel in last month

Smartphone use while driving on the increase, study finds

Fifteen per cent of young drivers have taken a selfie at the wheel in the last month in striking figures detailing the extent to which drivers use their phones and tablets while driving.

Research from the road safety organisation IAM, which asked 500 drivers how they use their smartphones and tablets in the car, and found that women are less selfie obsessed than men, with just five per cent of women citing they have taken a selfie while driving compared to 12 per cent of men.

Eight per cent of drivers admitted to driving while using a video-calling application such as FaceTime and Skype to make and receive video calls, rising to 16 per cent among 18 to 24 year olds.

Roads Minister to look into harsher penalties as study finds texting at the wheel more dangerous than drink driving

An IAM study in 2012 showed that using a smartphone while driving is more dangerous than driving at the legal alcohol limit or when using cannabis. Drivers have much slower reaction times, difficulty staying in the same lane and are less able to adapt to even slowly changing circumstances.

IAM’s chief executive officer, Sarah Sillars said: “Everyone knows how dangerous using a smartphone or tablet is while driving. That’s why it’s shocking to see new trends like taking selfies and making video calls becoming common practice.  

“Safe driving is everyone’s responsibility and more must be done to catch drivers using these devices dangerously by increasing the fines and points for smartphone and tablet use at the wheel – there is simply no excuse.

“Campaigns must also be introduced that raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue in society and make this behaviour socially unacceptable as drink-driving”.


Other findings include:

Seven per cent of drivers admit to watching videos and stream catch-up television on the road, rising to 13 per cent of drivers aged 18-24 and 15 per cent of 25-32 year olds. 

Eighteen per cent of drivers have accessed the internet using their smartphone or tablet, rising to 27 per cent of drivers aged 18-24 and 34 per cent of drivers aged 25-34.

Despite this, the number of drivers given penalty points for using a smartphone at the wheel fell by more than 40 per cent in 2014.

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mrmo | 8 years ago

have to wonder at the numbers, maybe my experience is atypical, I see more selfies being taken by women than by men? Do I believe that men are therefore more likely to take a selfie behind the wheel, to be blunt no.

I guess I will have to get a camera at some point for the commute, at least I will have provided some evidence for the inquest!

Simmo72 | 8 years ago

About time Cameron got off his fat backside, this problem has been growing in line with technology enhancements and social media. I see a lot of bad driving, to clarify, just not paying full attention and its more often than not the young drivers - like the one that drove into me and my family at a junction. The tell tale sign is when in traffic you see their head dipping up and down in their wing mirror or your rear view mirror. Its so obvious. Assume everyone on the road is an idiot, trust no one, assume nothing; its the best defense you have.

Policing would help but they have been screwed by cut backs, you can't catch people if you don't have a big enough force.

ianrobo | 8 years ago

Well given we close the A19 due to one incident maybe we should ban all young drivers if 15% break the law ?

Is that not the road lobby logic ?

Airzound | 8 years ago

So tired of this. We all know it's a big problem causing major road safety issues, whether taking selfless, texting or driving and dialling, what ever. The Government really needs to pull their fingers out their arses and devote funds to catch these fuckers and massively increase the currently pathetic fines and penalties. For a start the vehicle and phone or electronic device should be crushed with SIM card. A typical fine should start at £2,000 rising to £5,000 depending on aggravating factors and a minimum starting threshold of 6 penalty points. Bans should also be used. And fines should be accumulative depending on what else the driver has done or not done. If they cannot pay then prison. No debate.

SteppenHerring | 8 years ago

At a previous employer, some bright spark in HR came up with a competition to take a photo of the company's new adverts in interesting places. Not many bothered but they mailed out the "winner" with the pic and the name of the person who took it. It was a snap of the back of a bus in traffic, clearly taken from the driving seat.

Not one person in the chain of command who came up with this realised that there was anything wrong with this and that the person who took the picture had incriminated herself so publicly.

kie7077 | 8 years ago

The sooner autonomous cars hit the road the better, although this will lead to increased congestion - which is why we need a network of roads for cycling, closed off to rat-running.

ron611087 | 8 years ago

That's 15% of young drivers who admit to taking selfies behind the wheel. I wonder what the actual figure is?

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