Mobile phones are motorists' biggest safety concern

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Businesswoman on mobile phone while driving car
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What causes you to get nervous behind the wheel? That deluge of unexpected rain? Perhaps you keep your distance when you see the local boy racer join the carriageway in front of you? If you get concerned when you see other drivers on their mobile phones, you're not alone, as a new survey from Auto Trader has revealed drivers talking on the phone is our biggest safety fear on the roads.

And this worry isn't without basis – currently one in four accidents are caused because a driver was using a hand-held mobile phone. This is despite increasing awareness of the dangers of being distracted from driving in this way.

The perceived danger of mobile phone use at the wheel is so great, that two thirds of drivers now fear for their safety from this more than they do from drink and drug drivers.

In fact, drivers are just as worried about reduced safety due to poor road conditions as they are about being hit by an intoxicated motorist, with just over 50 per cent of motorists citing each as a major concern. Adverse weather and young and old drivers were the other major worries highlighted.

Nick King, Director of Research at Auto Trader, said "The dangers of using a phone while driving are well documented, however our research shows that drivers are still concerned about the distractions they can cause. There is a huge stigma attached to driving under the influence, but people need to realise playing on your phone while driving can be equally dangerous."

Drivers were also invited to give their opinions on improving road safety. The majority (65 per cent) stated that greater investment in road infrastructure would save lives, while over a third (35 per cent) believed cyclists should be made to obtain some form of formal qualification before being allowed to take to the roads.

At the other end of the scale, only nine per cent of respondents believed that more speed cameras were the key to saving lives.