If you talk on a phone at the wheel – hands-free or hand-held – your risk of causing an injury or death is four times as high. Use a phone to text, email or browse the internet and the risk is much higher still. Research shows the impact of using a phone on reaction times is on a par with drink driving. Yet a huge proportion of drivers put themselves and others in danger for the sake of a call or message, whether flouting the law by using a hand-held phone, or wrongly believing that hands-free is a safe option. Read more facts.
What needs to be done?
Drivers need to put phones out of sight and reach when driving to avoid temptation; on long journeys, they should take regular breaks to check for messages. Using a phone and driving is a deadly combination, and no call or message is worth a life.
Brake is also calling on the government to ban hands-free phones at the wheel, in line with research showing the risk is just as great due to the distraction of the conversation. We also need a much higher penalty for using phones at the wheel, so drivers take it seriously. And we need roads policing made a national policing priority, so more resources are invested in catching dangerous drivers on phones.
What you can do:
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Make Brake’s Pledge, including a commitment to never use a phone at the wheel
Write to your MP calling for action on phone use by drivers, including a ban on hands-free phones at the wheel
Sign up to our fortnightly e-bulletin, for updates on our campaigns and how you can help
Get involved in our 2Young2Die programme, spreading road safety awareness among young people, including on the dangers of phone use by drivers
Risky hands-free calls at the wheel on the rise, as confusion about dangers persists, 22.04.14
Drivers urged to take time out to enjoy their lunch, as more than six in ten admit eating at the wheel, 20.02.14
Campaign appeals to drivers to tune in to road safety and turn off their phones, 18.11.13
Families and community groups urged to register and start planning for Road Safety Week 2013, 26.06.13
Educators urged to register and start planning for Road Safety Week 2013, 26.06.13
Half of drivers risk lives for sake of a call, according to Brake and Direct Line survey, 29.03.12
Don't text and drive campaign on flickr, 29.03.12
Mobile phone offences on the increase, according to police data, 12.11.11
Mobile phone addiction threatens safety warn Brake and Direct Line, with three in 10 texting at wheel, 28.09.11
Brake holds workshop on eliminating driver distractions, 20.04.11
World Health Organisation speaks out against hand-held phone use when driving, 18.04.11