UK’s smartphone addiction carries deadly risks, warns charity

UK’s smartphone addiction carries deadly risks, warns charity
UK’s smartphone addiction carries deadly risks, warns charity

A road safety charity has warned that Britons’ addiction to their smartphones could have deadly consequences on the roads.

A new study of mobile use by Ofcom found that the average Briton checks their phone every 12 minutes and spends nearly three and a half hours a day looking at a mobile device.

With many drivers still ignoring the ban on using a handheld phone while driving, road safety charity Brake has warned that the UK’s mobile addiction could have a devastating impact and has called for tougher sentences for offenders.

Read more: Shocking ‘last text’ campaign will make you think twice about texting while driving

Deadly consequences

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “In our modern world it may seem unsurprising that people can’t go 12 minutes without using their smartphone, but this ‘addiction’ can have deadly consequences if people can’t leave their phones alone whilst driving.

“A split-second distraction caused by a call, text or notification behind the wheel can be fatal.

“In 2016, 32 people were killed and 105 seriously injured in crashes involving a driver being distracted by their mobile phone, and this problem is getting worse year-on-year.

“Illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel is all too common and action needs to be taken to rid our roads of this dangerous menace.

“We are calling on the Government to invest in greater awareness, more enforcement and tougher punishment of people who illegally use their phone at the wheel to provide an effective deterrent to this blight on our roads. Drivers need to understand that no call, text or social media update is worth risking a life.”

The current punishment for using a handheld device while driving is a £200 fine and six penalty points.

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