Somerset County Council is supporting Think! road safety in its latest campaign to deter young drivers from using their mobile phones while driving.
Research has shown that younger drivers are three times more likely to use a mobile phone while driving than older drivers. They are also less likely to consider using a mobile phone while driving to be dangerous behaviour.
Think!’s latest campaign video uses pink kittens to highlight exactly how much you miss if you concentrate on your phone and not on the road ahead. While travelling at 30mph, a quick glance at your phone for just 2.3 seconds will result in you missing 100 feet of road – that’s the same length as a Boeing 737.
Drivers should also be aware that mobile phones are not the only form of in-car distraction – sat-navs, stereos, food and drink can all divert you from the task of driving safely. The brain never fully concentrates on two tasks at once, instead it rapidly switches focus back and forth which can and does result in things being missed and puts other road users at risk.
It’s not just drivers who have to beware of distractions. Pedestrians should also ensure they concentrate fully on the road when crossing and avoid using their phone.
Cllr David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “We fully support this campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of distractions. If you are not fully concentrating on driving then you are risking the lives of other road users as well as your own.
“Many modern mobile phones have a ‘driving mode’ to block notifications and remove the temptation to check them while driving. I strongly urge everyone to switch this on. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait until you have pulled over to a safe place.”