As technology continues to develop, it comes as no surprise that drivers are more distracted inside their vehicles than ever before. From sat navs through to mobile phones, our strong desires to own the latest devices has increased and because of this we’re turning into something of an ‘instant’ nation, demanding information when we want, where we want. So in the heart of Road Safety Week, we thought we’d bring to light a new craze amongst young drivers that is putting a high number of lives at risk.
Last week BBC’s The One Show made a special report focussed around the rising number of young drivers taking ‘#drivingselfies’. Snapping pics of their road trips, celebrating passing their tests or simply looking for a bit of self-indulgence whilst sat in traffic – the show reported that a staggering 1/3 of all UK young drivers had taken a ‘selfie’ whilst driving (and that’s just the ones who admitted it!).
The results aren’t the first of their kind though, as back in the summer the Ford Motor Company surveyed 7000 young drivers (aged 18-24) and found that 25% had logged onto social media sites whilst sat behind the wheel.
These results come at a time when road safety campaigners are looking for answers to the 13% rise in deaths on our roads this year. Whilst mirroring reports also show a rise in the number of seriously injured, including those so-called ‘vulnerable’ road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
Arguably the beginning of 2014 saw the wettest winter on record, but experts are still placing heavy blame on smartphones; warning all road users (whether on foot or behind the wheel) to realise the danger they’re putting themselves and others into.
Road deaths have steadily been on the decline for the past 20 years or more as safety features in vehicles are heightened and road awareness increases. So much so, 2013 saw the lowest number of road deaths since records began in 1926. As expected, this substantial rise hasn’t been received particularly well, and being a substantial rise it’s highly doubtful it’s a slight glitch and more like a trend of things to come.
It’s highly likely then, that in the coming year you’ll see a variety of campaigns focussing on tackling this issue and raising awareness of the dangers of using your smartphone whilst driving. Are you guilty of taking ‘driver selfies’ or logging into Facebook whilst sat in the drivers sear? Has this blog made you open your eyes on the dangers not only to yourself but other road users too? We want to hear from you.
Also don’t forget, to improve your safety on the roads check you tyres regularly. For this week only as part of Road Safety Week we’re giving you £10 OFF orders of 2 or more tyres with code ‘RSW10’. Simply enter the code at the checkout or quote over the phone. Ends midnight Sunday.