Nearly one-in-five young people make video calls while driving

Published 12 October 2020

The number of drivers making and taking phone calls illegally is increasing, according to the RAC.

It's at the highest level since 2016, with young drivers particularly likely to make video calls or play games on a mobile phone while behind the wheel.

Almost one-in-five (18 per cent) of drivers aged 17-24 admit to taking part in video calls while behind the wheel, figures for the RAC Report on Motoring 2020 reveal. Some 29 per cent of drivers (almost one in three) of all ages say they make and receive calls while driving. The report surveyed 3068 UK participants.

Younger drivers are more than twice as likely to make or receive video calls while driving. On average, eight per cent of all UK drivers say they do this, with the figure rising to 13 per cent among those aged 25 to 44.

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Currently, motorists can be given an on-the-spot fine of £200 and six penalty points if they're caught using a hand-held phone while driving. 

Equally worrying is the finding that just under one-in-10 drivers aged 17 to 24 (nine per cent) say they play games on their phones while driving, making them three times more likely to do this compared to the average UK driver.

After the quality of local roads, other drivers’ use of phones is the second biggest overall motoring-related concern identified in the 2020 RAC Report. A third of all UK drivers surveyed say the issue concerns them, while nearly eight-in-10 (79 per cent) want to see camera technology introduced to catch drivers acting illegally.

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However, the proportion of drivers admitting to other dangerous activities such as checking or sending text messages or taking photos or video appear to be reducing. Although, it's unclear whether this is simply down to lower overall car use this year as a result of the pandemic.

Eight per cent of all drivers say they text or send other messages while driving, down from 14 per cent last year and from a high of 20 per cent in 2016.


cheshiredolphin    on 13 October 2020

Perhaps if the fines were punitive and the phones confiscated on the spot, it might send a message to these idiots. Using a mobile whilst driving is socially unacceptable as well as being extremely stupid. Greater publicity of causing death by dangerous driving, including using mobile, guarantees a life sentence in jail should feature heavily in places where young people gather.

Edited by cheshiredolphin on 13/10/2020 at 09:12

farmideas    on 13 October 2020

Are there any figures for tractor drivers?

hissingsid    on 14 October 2020

Using a mobile phone while driving is every bit as dangerous and antisocial as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and the penalties should be exactly the same. The offender's phone should be confiscated and destroyed in every case.

Victor Ahiaba    on 14 October 2020


stojom    on 24 October 2020

An immediate three months ban when caught might make them think twice when they’ve lost their job, possibly their car and have to pay more for insurance .

Edited by stojom on 24/10/2020 at 09:54

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