Distracted drivers involved in more than 3,000 crashes in 2018

Distracted drivers were involved in more than 3,000 road traffic incidents in 2018, according to official data.

The data shows that of these incidents, more than 600 were considered serious, with 93 fatalities recorded.

The figures come from analysis of Department for Transport figures by car insurance black box provider Insurethebox, which found that 92 serious and 25 fatal incidents involved mobile phone use as a contributing factor.

Meanwhile, other distractions included passengers, pets, using satellite navigation systems, or listening to congestion warning systems.

Gary Stewart, service manager at Insurethebox, commented: “These figures show 93 deaths and well over 600 serious accidents could have been prevented had the driver not been distracted.

“Young and newly qualified drivers who have the least experience on the roads are likely to be more vulnerable to dealing with in-car distractions. Plus, today’s constant pressures to be constantly connected mean young drivers may well be tempted to pick up the phone to take a call, answer a text or respond to a social media notification.”

New legislation being brought in next year will close a loophole that saw some drivers get away with using their phone while driving. It means any driver caught texting, taking photos or any other activity on their phone can be prosecuted.

Currently, motorists caught using a hand-held device behind the wheel will receive a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence. Therefore, those caught within two years of passing their test will lose their licence.

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