You’re not breaking the law if you use a hands free kit to talk on the phone whilst driving. However, an increasing body of research is indicating that using a hands free kit could be just as dangerous as using your mobile phone behind the wheel. The level of distraction that using a hands free kit causes is at the centre of the issue.
This is especially true if you are having a conversation which is particularly distracting. Research has also shown that you visualise the person you are speaking to while you are on the phone. Doing so takes even more of your attention away from the road.
Copyright © Charging phone by Mark Guim / CC BY 2.0 / Horizontally flipped, extended width, blurred from original
The potential dangers associated with using a hands free kit when driving have been brought into the spotlight recently due to a woman being found guilty of killing a motorcyclist while she was using a hands free kit to speak to a friend. Although this was not necessarily the sole reason for the collision, it was highlighted as causing a distraction that could have led to her car drifting across the road.
The driver in question said that she had hit a pothole or a verge, which had caused her to lose control of her vehicle. However, accident investigators found no signs of a pothole or any evidence that she had even tried to brake before hitting the motorcyclist, who died at the scene.
Despite having your eyes on the road when using a hands free kit, it is likely that you won-t be as alert as you would be if you were focused entirely on driving. This can slow your response times to any hazards that might present themselves during your journey. As such, it is always safer to pull over and have your conversation, especially if you are finding it distracting.
It is not only hands free kits which have been found to distract motorists from the task at hand. The safety of using high-tech dashboards has been called into question too, following research carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The research looked at how long it takes drivers to perform certain activities on their high-tech dashboard. It produced plenty of interesting data, including the fact that it takes around 40 seconds to program an in-built sat-nav, which is a long time for a driver’s attention to be taken away from the road ahead.
Other high-tech dashboard features that were tested were sending a text message and searching for something on the internet, both of which caused a high level of distraction. Even tuning the radio or making a phone call caused a moderate distraction.
When a driver takes their eyes off of the road for just two seconds, they double their chance of crashing their vehicle. Distractions are partly to blame for 11% of all fatal crashes.
The AAA is pushing for auto manufacturers to start creating systems that don’t distract drivers any more than tuning a radio or listening to an audiobook does. One solution they have proposed is to lock certain high-tech dashboard features when the car is in motion, to prevent the driver from being tempted to use them.
The value of education
Educating drivers about the dangers of using technology at the wheel would certainly help. Perfectly legal technology can cause sufficient distraction to bring about a fatal crash, yet many drivers assume that because the technology is legal, it isn’t dangerous. It can be easy to feel in control despite your focus being elsewhere, even just for a few seconds. Breaking down the assumption that if tech is built into the car it is perfectly safe to use while driving is essential for improving the safety of our roads, particularly as vehicles continue to include more and more high-tech systems.
As research continues, it could well be that we see the use of hands free kits join the use of mobile phones in terms of what is banned behind the wheel. Doing so would certainly help to prevent accidents and make the UK’s roads safer.
Do you use a hands free kit while driving? Do you feel particularly distracted while doing so? Leave a comment to share your views.
Does that mean talking to a passenger is also banned? Speed cameras make u watch yr speedo as you take yr eyes off the road to check yr doing the correct speed. Lots of things distract drivers.
Yes loads of distractions in and out of the vehicle but it is down to the driver to make the correct decision to eliminate/reduce the risk of that distraction – but alot drivers ignore the risks probably due to the fact that they have done it before, got away with it, everything has been fine, so they think that they are immune to anything bad happening, so then keep doing it
If my passenger is a distraction, I should eliminate them? Man, that’s harsh! 😉
The only really sensible comment I’ve read so far!! regardless of the features in the car you are responsible for the safety of it and all other road users, it is incumbent on all drivers to drive in a safe manner;- you cannot hide behind ‘it is legal’ if your actions cause an accident- think first.
They should ban my wife from nagging me while I’m driving
I agree. I’ve said this many times; the proliferation of speed cameras to enforce what are often arbitrary limits can only lead to less concentration on the road ahead. The appropriate speed depends the road, traffic and weather conditions at the time.
How about we dealt with the phoning, satnav-ing, eating and smoking before we ban speed cameras? Lol.
But unfortunatly their are some drivers for whom a safe speed is NOT an option they must go as fast as they can to prove what a good driver they THINK they are nomatter what the road conditions are.
“The appropriate speed depends the road, traffic and weather conditions at the time”
You have missed out in your definition ‘Within the speed limit’ But there are a host of other factors too…
So you only check your speedo when there’s a camera about?????
For a lot of poor drivers on our roads, Kieth, the answer is “yes”. The rest of us have to be aware of the hazard these idiots pose. Basic defensive driving.
What is the point of these discussions when the current ban on the use of phones when driving is so widely flouted and, it would appear, is not being enforced. I see numerous instances of illegal phone use every time I drive.
I agree however I’ve seen police make no attempt to pull them. Maybe friends of theirs or near end of shift
THE police operate their Airwave radio’s while driving in a persuit. How dangerious is this.?
I agree. How does that work? They are breaking their own rules
I think there s a law for normal people and another for the police
Well, you may think so, for one, the police undertake driver training which has to be refreshed every so often – and do you really want them to stop to radio in when you car just been nicked or your mum’s been mugged? Some people want both halves of the cake! So greedy 😉 But all phones should be banned from vehicles IMO.
We’re not looking at them. We’re looking at you. And they are generally more skilful drivers than us.
Emergency services are allowed to communicate using their radios. At the moment it’s not illegal operate a handheld transceiver/CB, however you could still be prosecuted for distracted/unsafe driving, (undue care and attention), but this is also the case for anything that might interfere with your driving.
The police have no law they do what they want.
We have to do as we are told.
The police on tv doing 80/90 mph on the radio’s.
radios, pursuit, dangerous
I reported someone using a hand held phone on the 101 number, the operator said do I have a witness, I said my passenger, they said that it was insufficient, so you cant even report people for this.
Will they also ban smokers from lighting up – smoking and disposing of a cigarette butt whilst driving – maybe they should pull up for these activities too
Certainly Julie. Any distraction can cause that momentary lack of concentration.
I agree with Allan, banning smokers is just one of many distractions. And no I am not a smoker just incase you were wondering. Self drive vehicles is the only way forward. Remove the human error completely
great till theyre hacked (as everything can be that’s connected to the internet or other network in some form, which they will have to be) then just prepare to die. theres already been self driving cars crashing. one having covered only 4 miles!
I believe the recent crash 4 miles from home was shown to not be the self driving cars fault.
What people need to remember is that we are at the beginning of the self drive car era. The tech is pretty good already, but can only get better from now on.
Anyone who think a human will always be able to drive better than an AI is deluding themselves.
One of the dangers with an AI is it will likely go for the least damage, which could mean running down an innocent rather than hit a car with several people in.
You forget one basic and simple fact – who develops and programs the AI in the first place. We are not in the terminater scenario yet whete computerd develop compuyer technology. What makes you think computer programmers are less likely to make mistakes than a human behind the wheel. And the more complex the technology gets, the greater the risk of bugs and errors as is is not possible to test for every scenario. We see this all the time in complex operating systems like windows. And gor the record, i am a (retired) IT consultant ☺
Had a drink sir?
I agree. Look at autopilot on aircraft. Been there for years and safer than pilots flying manually. Bring it on and rid us of the clowns and idiots who should never have passed their driving tests originally…
A friend of mine, under the supervision of his professor, pinged Tesla cars and got a response from them through their windscreen wipers; he contacted the owners, saying he believed he could take remote control of their cars if they agreed and would take them to an empty car park. Unsurprisingly, most said no, but one chap in Monaco agreed ,and soon his car was being controlled from the UK.
So, how sure are you that hackers will not be able to repeat what my friend did, even assuming that they improve the security?
And introduce computer errors and failures? No thanks!
Don’t forget the hackers who will interfere just because they can and for the hell of it!
I hate the idea of self drive cars, but after seeing three accidents on a 15 minute journey the other week, I think you could be right. I have driven for over 40 years and have never even scraped my car so find it hard to understand what the problem is.
I can understand your comments. I am 74 years of age and my father taught me to drive when I was 8 years of age. I drove a 1939 Vauxhall 12 around a field next to where we lived. We soon developed a track with straights, bends and was probably 3 miles in length. Over the years I have driven grass track race cars, rally cars, saloon race cars, single seater race cars, articulated trucks with 32 feet tandem axle trailers.
It is now up to you to decide whether you think i am qualified to say what I am about to.
No more than 10% of male drivers on our roads are in my opinion, good, safe drivers. I know that the 90% will disagree with me, claiming to be the best drivers in the world. As for women drivers I reckon you would be hard pushed to better 2%. Women are just not capable of controlling a car should an ermergency crop up. They are unable to reverse, they can’t park properly. How often have you noticed a woman driving around a car park looking for a ‘drive through’. Do you ever wonder why there are not too many female Formula 1 drivers? Once you have mentioned Pat Moss and Michelle Mouton you have exhausted the list of competition drivers!
Pretty sure very recently a self drive vehicle in the USA has run over a killed a cyclist…
Yes, let’s all surrender our freedom just so that the numpties don’t pose any threat to anyone.
Would that argument be taken seriously in any other context?
Smoking at the wheel is dangerous in many different ways. Some less obvious. My wife had to pull aside in emergency because the rear seat started to burn. She doesn’t smoke. However her window was open and some driver ahead of her threw their fag out their window. Guess what.
Well bugger me! Years ago my mam went bonkers whilst driving her car! We thought she was having some kind of fit but all became apparent when she removed a huge lit cigar butt from her hair, that came through her open window.
My vehicle has built in bluetooth, controlling my phone from the buttons on the steering wheel. Even so, while driving I totally ignore calls. I answer them only when stopped. How many calls are so important that you risk the lives of yourself and other road users to answer? I would hazard a guess that 95% of calls are just people gobbing away to each other for the sake of it.
Do you talk to a passenger in the car? Do you believe that is less dangerous? How about smoking while driving? Is it less dangerous than eating an apple while driving?
I totally agree. I am sure like me you have followed a car and seem the driver obviously talking to a passenger and looking at the passenger at the same time as driving. Why is driving and keeping your eyes looking forwards whilst talking on bluetooth more dangerous?
Drivers looking at passengers when they are talking is shear stupidity. If you are talking to a passenger, the passenger is probably aware of what is happening outside the car, and will recognise when you have to concentrate. Someone at the end of a phone will not, and will try to hold your attention when it should be elsewhere. And regarding cigarettes, if someone said is it safe to drive a car with a smouldering tube of material that could set fire to your clothes if you drop it, would you permit that. And what do you do with that smouldering tube of material when you change gear? I certainly would not want to be anywhere near you when you drop your cigarette. And smoking is probably more dangerous than eating an apple, since if you drop the apple, hopefully all it will do is make a mess of your carpets.
Yes your right my 5 year old twin grandchildren always wait until I have pulled up before undoing their seat belts and fighting. Seriously children should be banned as they are the greatest threat to anyone’s concentration.
Couldn’t agree more, my only accident occurred when distracted by a misbehaving child in the car.
If your passenger is more aware of what is happening outside you should change places
Ian, you have missed the point, Yes you should keep your eyes focused on the road, the point is whether your drain is switched on to what your eyes are looking at
How about taking ur hand off to change gear, no differwnce to smoking in time taken. And before u say it NO i dont smoke. Do u want only auto cars on road cos i hate them.
the passenger knows why you have stopped talking and if you are eating you can just let the food fall to avoid a prang.
smoking should be banned it’s more dangerous than eating a apple but you are not allowed to eat and drive police use their phones while driving but thats ok why ?
You have missed the point. Talking to a passenger is real time and the passenger realises why you stop talking when an incident occurs. A phone conversation, even social (so no stress) requires interaction and thereby distraction from driving. A phone conversation, e.g work, requiring more thought requires more interaction and therefore more distraction.
I don’t agree. I had a hysterical female in my car and found that more distracting. or my missus chatting to her sister. I use the hands free but the road is my no1 priority and the ppl on the other end of fone know this or tough doodoo
One of the problems that is ignored in these cases is the big corporates pushing the use of technology beyond what is healthy in pursuit of numbers. My partner is a director who spends massive part of his life driving to meetings so depends on handsfree as there are not enough hours in the week to avoid this. I worry for his concentration but whilst the technology is available it is expected he use this. Coupled with virtually constant connection via smartphones if it extremely difficult to recharge your own batteries. This is not a case of changing jobs as all of the five jobs in the last ten years have been the same and are getting worse. So often this is purely seen as a social problem when used for leisure. It has been reported as having the same effect as having drunk alcohol or lack is sleep which is an additional problem. Corporates need to take responsibility.
If using hands free is something his company requires him to do then if something was to go wrong then his company would be liable to the same prosecution as him – corporate manslaughter act. Alot of companies arent aware of this and if they are then employees usually have to sign that they wont use handfree.
If the company expects someone to hold conference called while traveling between meeting then they should be supplied with a driver!!
are you going to pay the costs from your own pocket for the additional drivers that ALL companies would need? somehow, I doubt it.
No but if the company insist that someone must use a phone whilst driving to do their job then they must be forced to pay for a driver in order to keep other road users safe which means you & I, in the time before mobil phones we managed without by just waiting till we could get to a phone or got to speak to the person directly so why not now,lives are more important than ANY business or phone call.
Do we also ban talking in vehicles, as this can be as distracting for many people I know, as using hands free mobiles.
If you feel they are being distracted, don’t talk to them.
If they tell you to be quiet, do so.
No point in making the driver’s task more difficult.
Everyone knows the simplest distraction can cause an accident, weather in the car, home or work place. lets look at the distractions in a car.
Radio, Dashboard, steering controls, passengers, (The worst of all, that they never publish figures for) is our lovely children.
should we not just ban the car altogether with all the deaths they cause. Personally I think theirs to many do gooders looking for a moan
Remember that if one of your kids get killed.
I agree with Malc. To many do gooders having a moan, Don’t Tar everybody with the same brush. Rant over lol
Now I’m getting distracted by all of the bad spelling! “Theirs” is used to describe something the belongs to someone.
Probably 10 to 15 years ago whilst still working and driving to a meeting I had a hands free call. The call was project and work related. After about 10minutes or so into the call L realised I could not remember the actual driving for at least half of the call. I terminated the call and have been very careful since!
Regarding dashboards, at the end of September I hired a Renault capture in Portugal, the grey dash reflected up onto the screen making the windscreen look cloudy and the actual finish of the dash was reflected in the windscreen, very distracting, so not just the ‘electronic’ dash.
not sure why not remembering the journey is an issue. you are dealing with a situation ‘as and when’ it happens. most people cant remember some journeys, or parts of them. if theres nothing of interest, why WOULD you remember them? the brain isn’t always going to work that way.
And of course there are the fools who drive with their earphones in and are oblivious to what’s going on around them.
It is against the law to have ear phones in both ears. You may drive with 1 earphone in.
In France all ear phones and ear piece hands free are banned
never heard of that before. and what about all the morons on bikes and pedestrians with them in. surely they have a duty to be careful too? or is it a case, as always, of blame the motorist regardless of fault? we also don’t know the full story in the case of the accident mentioned in the article. ive seen VERY FEW motorcyclists riding within the speed limit (and often well into 3 figures) so perhaps its not all as one sided as we are led to believe (and of course they want phones to be made the villains coz blaming a speeding biker who would otherwise have been missed by the car had it not been for the bikes speed CANT be an option)
Got a thing about motorcycles have you ?
Three figures!!! whats that 30.5mph in a 30mph zone. bit zealous are you or is it just your envy that motorbikes can filter in traffic jams while you have to wait.
isn’t what the radio is for. I agree totally with you. they don’t realise that they cannot hear what’s going on outside and also the idiots who walk about wearing them oblivious to the hazards around them
Neither can those with natural hearing impairments. I don’t believe deaf drivers get an special training but maybe naturally compensate.
Where do we start and stop with distraction? I drive for a living and am on the road most of the day and one of the most dangerous things I have seen is a woman arguing with her kids(in the back) on the school run, she was turning round all the time and wandering all over the road. I could see she was very distressed and distracted, not in control, luckily the traffic coming in the other direction could also see what was going on and avoided the situation but if road and weather conditions were different that may have changed everything. Surely it needs looking at but it is not the only problem on the road. There are so many distractions including too much street signs too close together. My rant over.
I too saw a women shouting at her kids in the back, unfortunately she only saw my car once she had crashed into the back of it.
Ban taking children to school by car! That would solve a congestion problem too. We always used to walk to school.
Might also solve the obesity problem
great if you can afford to live within walking distance. ive lived in places where the nearest school is a 30 min car drive (approx. 15 miles, due to the roads etc) each way (so the home to school, drop kids and return home run) takes an hour each end of the day. do you really expect 5 year olds to walk 30 miles per day, then school, homework etc? fine in towns, but a blanket ban? get real!
What ever happened to school buses, or alternatively taxi’s??
Have you ever lived in the country? Yes, sometimes busses are available, but also sometimes not.
Local authority’s are obliged to offer transport if children are more than 3 miles from school unless you have opted to send your children to a school which is not the nearest in which case that is your responsibility so don’t complain.
So have we all. My mother walked 5 miles each way to school – no car. No money either. I used public transport and then walked.
the woman convicted had been on the phone for 27 minutes obviously not concentrating on her driving
whilst this stupid woman thoroghly deserved her sentence, everything in a car is a distraction eating smoking shouting at the kids adjusting controls of the vehicle etc etc, The UK has the safest roads in Europe bearing in mind we have tiny country with far too many people in, it deaths from roads have come down year on year through a variety of things road design, education enforcement, better cars, we will alway have stupidity which cannot be legislated against we will never get to to zero deaths or injuries if you dont agree with me try driving on the continent as I have done extensivly, we may not be as good as we would like to think but we are miles better than most of Europe, just check out their stats if you dont believe me !
ps I agree that mobile phone use is the most widely used illegal activity on the road but until we have police and not cameras it will never be contained
I prefer to drive abroad! Manchester is mental. Such aggressive and arrogant drivers.
You’ve never driven in Paris. It’s so bad there, that in certain areas your insurance is no longer valid
UK road deaths INCREASED this year.
Driving in Germany is an absolute pleasure. As is France (apart from Paris, of course).
As for a telephone conversation being a distraction it’s fairly obvious that it is. You don’t have to be in a car to witness it daily, on the street, in the supermarket, where people are frequently bumping into you, or allowing their trolley to, seemingly oblivious of the fact others are focusing where they are going. So many times I see people are out with children who are not being adequately watched on the pavement near roads as the adult is too busy on their phone. This is then continued in the car with added distractions even if the conversation is hands free.
Make it illegal to use a phone and a supermarket trolley; are there death rate figures published for this?
More arguments in favour of self-driving cars. My only worry is that they will be too expensive for most of us. I love driving, but I quite like looking around when I’m out and about too. If I’m not doing all the driving the whole experience will be more interesting, and potentially more fun too.
they are far from perfect. one test had an accident in only 4 miles using a self driving vehicle
Sei understand the arguments but there are equally many other examples of distractions. A baby crying, a disruptive child, something of interest happening outside the vehicle etc. Whilst I’m all for saving even one life we just have to guard against being so cocooned that we may as well all stop driving until driverless cars are introduced.
I have my iphone with me, but IF it rings, my wife answers it. I also have an ipad as a SatNav which I use mostly to know my position. I have driven for many years, so know mostly where I am going. I don’t ever interact with the Satnav except to change settings or route, and I always stop to do that. Why people have to be so busy with their phones all day, I do not know. I abhor people who do not answer their phone when you call them to Speak to them, then text you back. Whatever, happened to speech. Remember, that call you asnwer whilst driving could be your LAST, or someone else’s.
I ALWAYS LEAVE MY MOBILE IN MY GLOVE COMPARTMENT.I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT HANDS FREE ARE STILL A DISTRACTION.WITH THE AMOUNT OF BAD DRIVING I COME ACROSS ie DRIVERS NOT GIVING ANY INDICATION WHEN TURNING LEFT OR RIGHT ALSO LANE DISIPLINE ON THREE LANE CARRIAGEWAYS.YOU NEED EVERY BIT OF CONCENTRATION TO SURVIVE SAFELY ON ALL ROADS TO DAY.
there is no legal requirement to give any indication. this was told to me by a TRAFFIC COP only LAST WEEK.
Did he also tell you that the standard of driving is crap.
I think this is a valid point, I can’t understand why, whenever I am talking on the phone via a hands free kit, this distracts me from my driving more than just talking to a passenger.
Because your passenger also has eyes and if it’s busy or something happens they shut up.
All things fitted to cars today must be made so that you cannot use them when the car is in motion a simple thing for car manufactures to do but gadgets sell cars even dangerous ones like touchscreens for doing every simple task Touchscreens are a very dangerous distraction now fitted as standard in every new car Caught using a phone while driving you must have both the phone and vehicle taken from you there and then and never returned
I think it’s easy to sort. Immobilise the in car sat navs so they cannot be altered unless car stationary. Insist all mobiles are disabled once inside a car. Or put a signal scrambler in the car. It is too easy and too tempting for drivers to use their mob. We used to manage before without.
Who needs it. I saw someone watching a video the other day. On the dash.
I find as I drive on my own that having a sat nav is a great help in particular in a strange city. The roads are that busy now and with people wandering out without looking it mean I can concentrate more on the road with my sat nav on. Regarding setting sat nav this should be done while stationary.
The only problem with this is that passengers would not be able to use their phones. I am in fact a great believer in NOT using a mobile while driving (even in stationary traffic). What can you actually do as a result of a call that is supposedly urgent? Why not pull over to take the call or if on a motorway wait until the next services. What did we do before mobile phones.
It will soon be illegal to even think while you are driving.Just because of one accident,it suddenly is a major hazard.
I never, repeat never, have my phone anywhere I can access it whilst driving. As for satnav. I position it out of sight and just listen to the verbal instructions. At one time it was illegal to have any kind of screen in view of the driver and I believe that car manufacturers have taken a step too far by installing media centres on the dashboard.
New changes to the driving test apparently require you to use the SatNav while you drive! Distraction or what? A phone jammer operating while on the move would prevent a passenger making a call, maybe during an emergency. Forcing everyone to pull over and stop to receive or make a call could cause mayhem on a busy motorway during the rush hour.
Like the Irish border problem, no obvious answer.
don’t you know it is illegal to stop on a motorway unless it is an emergency or a breakdown
Their is no difference between talking to a passenger and talking to a fixed phone ,plus the next thing will be no radio.
If they stop us from using this app then so can the police driver !
I live on a main road and rush hour i watch though my window and see stupid driver on they phones at times they are shunts band them for 12mths on the second time band them for 5 uear
Which is more distracting using a hands-free kit or the screaming child
Screaming kids for sure
i have used a handsfree phone in my car for business and pleasure over more thant 20 years, It certainly does not cause distractions at all in normal road conditions but common sense dictates in difficult traffic or road conditions hang up and resume only when the extreme situation has passed. If we are going to ban hands free then certainly all cigarette smoking must go too, I always feel smokers have one hand off the wheel and are distracted to a degree too! Modern technology certainly can and do ensure certain devices can be switched off unti the car is stationary so that will be a welcome advance as well. As always good common sense and road sense are vital on congested roads today and that seems to be lacking in a lot of newer or less experienced drivers.
while we are at it, lets ban all the other nonsense distractions in cars. lane departure warnings, auto hazard lights when you brake moderately hard, ESP/Traction control, (lights flashing on the dash in snow really helps NOTHING) stupid coffee cup lights that come on after a period of driving, internet connected cars I’m sure theres plenty more to add to the list. better yet, take all the safety stuff out as this makes people complacent rather than concentrating on the road, so lets also bin airbags, ABS, etc. in fact lets ban seat belts. i remember before they were compulsory. people drove slower and were more aware as they knew there was a bigger chance of dying!!!! (and yes that is sarcasm, but the point is where do we draw the line?)
A friend of mine said just as mobile phones were becoming very popular. “How come phone calls are now so important that people use their phones while driving, did you see lines of people at phone boxe”. No they waited till they got home.
Any phone call in a car from or to the driver is distracting. The more so the complexity of the call or the stress it generates. At least when talking to a passenger there are at least two pairs of eyes watching outside the car, although that can also be distracting at times, children on a high, complaining passengers etc. So yes ban it whilst the car has the ignition switched on. Same with sat nav, allow it to run but no changes whilst in motion.. My sat nave knows almost immediately I stray from where it went me to go, so it knows when I’m moving.
stop drivers smoking, drinking hot take away coffees & eating big macs – other makes available LOL
ban drive throughs then, basically.
I find road signs/instructions a big distraction particularly some towns where they seem to breed like rabbits.
So talking on the phone causes one to visualise the person on the other end of the phone? As the imagination goes off to a completely different place when listening to an audiobook or radio play, how can this be permissible?
I am not agreeing with the use of phones in cars, in fact they should all be turned off automatically when the car is in motion. And yes, smoking should be made a criminal offence whilst driving.
If we are to promote safer driving conditions then councils should play their part. Over the past few years, road markings have become faded, street signs are uncleaned and illegible and these create MAJOR distractions.
When I reported parking opposite a junction to a county council it went over a year before they (inadequately) reacted. It could be because the offender’s were employees at the district council office (Mendip). The double yellows have merely moved the offender’s to where the lines stop. How strange that the parking wardens fail to issue fines to people (council workers) still parking opposite junctions and within the restricted distance from corners!!!
Agreed, current law not enforced, particularly widespread with van and young female drivers, but neither is the law concerning children wearing seat belts or being too short to be in the front seat – see school run, or LGVs doing 50 to 60 on single carriageways (limit here is 40).
Speed limit is 40mph NO IT ISN’T Jim., the speed limit for HGVs on UK roads changed over a year ago. It is now 50 mph on Single carriageways and 60 mph on Dual Carriageways and motorways.(10% leeway for speedo error, so don’t try and check an HGV’s speed with your speedo, it isn’t calibrated and is probaably at least 3-4 mph out)
Hands free. Properly installed with blue tooth aka Ford Mondeo system is fine and causes minimal distraction. Enforce the ban on non hands free which seems to be flouted on many occasions. Smoking in the car when driving is far more dangerous.
You only have to watch the Police programs on the TV, to see its one law for them and a different one for Joe public,when using their chest radios and in car hand held sets, they say they are trained to drive and use them, but that doe’s not count for nothing when driving cars one handed behind Joe who they can not guess what he is going to do.
trained to use them? they haven’t got increased mental or physical capacity. theyre no different to the rest of us. yet they are treated differently. that said, there have been people taking photos of it and posting it on social media, FORCING changes, slowly.
Of course their mental and physical capacity is comparable to the rest of us but additional training and experience enables people to safely perform tasks that are dangerous for those without the training and experience. Presumably you were taught to drive. Are you a better driver now than you were at the start of your first driving lesson? That’s the effect of training and experience.
So looking at a sat nav is not a distraction? The screen should be turned off when the vehicle is moving and be voice only for those that can’t drive without one, remember maps?.
yes and it was very difficult to read a map as you drive alone. the screen can be a help at some junctions. i use satnavs all day every day.
Some drivers can barely cope with the task of driving so letting them talk on a phone is dangerous. Others can cope with the use of hands free phone and be extra alert whilst doing so. Making a law to cover both will no doubt end up banning there use altogether.
Even if they made the diver sit in a separate box with no music or capability to communicate with passengers, there will still be distraction accidents. Be accountable for your actions.
If you use a map, there will be some drivers looking at it while driving!!
My iphone does not take any calls or texts while driving & to be honest it is very good app! Now i dont worry about anyone calling me as when i stop then i will call back! This app should be on all phones then you can concentrate on your driving, unless you have some bending your ear in the passenger seat! ie wife or kids!! lol
How far are we going to go then, by taking out any forms of distractions ie, radio,CD’s, Satnav, heaters, or anything that you have to take yours eyes off the road to alter, switch on or move, !! Now its getting silly all over a stupid woman taking a call for 27 minutes, so hit & punish every other driver!!!
A sat nav is just another instrument in the car and you should not be looking at the screen intently, just monitoring it like you do all the other instruments, speedo, mirrors etc. If you are anywhere near a competent driver you should be aware of what is going on in and out of the car. My sat nav is windscreen mounted and placed near my eyeline so I can see it whilst still watching the road. A sat nav also speaks to warn you when a change of direction is needed so that when necessary you can glance at it more intently when approaching a turn.
Concider the number of people seen using hand held that escape how on Earth would you, or the Police, be able to see if someone is making a hands free call. Many other things are far more distracting I’ve even seen drivers with phone in one hand and fag in the other
no, it was just this woman was not with at all, left her bain behind at home
I use my phone as a sat nav but I put it out of sight and only listen to instructions so I don’t look away from the road.
Well she got 3 years in prison also a 4.5 year driving ban. Let’s hope the ban starts on the day of her release, not when she was imprisoned. Otherwise it will be a complete waste of time.
It’s bad enough keeping an eye out for idiot. Drivers Without adding to it , I saw an idiot texting whilst approaching a junction I was about to drive past. , without looking he just pulled out in front of me , if I wasn’t looking I’d have driven into hiim , regardless of that the world will always have its idiots distracted or not , you can’t win I’m afraid
We don’t need yet another law; driving without due care covers all these instances. Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal but it is also virtually unenforceable unless you happen to be passing the police at the time. Imagine how much more difficult it would be to tell if someone were using a hands-free device! All that happens is, that after the incident, records show that someone was using a hands-free device. So what; the accident has already happened. Authorities need to think really hard about measures to prevent mobile devices actually working while they are inside a car; they need to use technology, not threats.
Next generation phones must have technology to prevent their use in any form whilst vehicle is moving. However how do you determine the driver as opposed to the passenger(s) ?
No problem. You stop and get out of the car. It’s a small price to pay for everyone else’s safety.
Not with the me,me,me generation they don`t care about anyone else but them selves.
there now is an app that when you are on the move it does not take calls until you have stopped as it is on my phone! mine is usually in the glovebox anyway or switched off!
So if it happena will they also ban police using their radios while driving. As a lot of the time thats nir even hands free. Come on people if we cannot use even hands free then stop them taking hands off to talk on radio especially in a high speed chase.
I don’t use my mobile phone in any way whilst driving – hands free or otherwise. I don’t consider myself so important I have to be connected to it when I’m driving ! I have long considered that even hands free usage is a distraction. Having a conversation while you are in control of a vehicle – even with people in the same car-can distract you and will often stop engaging in a conversation if a particularly challenging manoeuvre or event is taking place. I believe that any sort of distraction is potentially dangerous…. eating, smoking or drinking takes your attention away from what you are doing – which is driving a potentially lethal machine! Even the most basic of dashboard controls can distract.. I am not a goodie-two-shoes incidentally and have my lapses in concentration, but I just try to be sensible and alert.
Being on a hands free call didn’t cause the accident. Bad driving caused it. If you can change gear, adjust the the radio, check your mirrors, adjust them if required, switch on your wipers or lights, and more importantly , TALK TO A PASSENGER whilst driving, it’s no different from accepting a phone-call via bluetooth handsfree. (One Button to press). If you can’t do those things without getting onto the wrong side of the road, YOU SHOULD NOT BE DRIVING.
Half the people I see on the road can’t drive even when not ‘distracted’ so you are 100% correct here Richard. Professional drivers like myself need to be in communication with their transport office. Some of the posters on here wouldn’t be very happy if I stopped my 44 tonne artic in the middle of the road while I answered a call from my boss telling me to abort the collection I was on my way to, now would they ? !! Or should trucks just run about willy nilly until they can find some where to stop (in this country they are at present CLOSING laybys) . As you so rightly say , if you can’t change gear, press a bluetooth button, or read road signs and instructions while driving, you should NOT BE driving at all.!!
Agreed. I’m a HGV drivers as well, yesterday on the M1 southbound 19 to 18, between those 2 junctions I saw people talking on the phone, opening cans of drink, bags of crisps, hand rolling cigarettes all whilst they are supposedly in full control of the vehicle
My best was a driver WET shaving in slow moving traffic complete with cotton bib to avoid spils on his business suit at 7 in the mornin g.
Hi, Martin. the answer is proper preparation, the office should not let you turn a wheel if there is a problem with the delivery/collection, Rember the army moto???
the problem can occur AFTER the vehicle has left. some vehicles leave Monday AM and don’t return to base until Friday PM or Saturday AM. and even ARMIES have methods to contact vehicles. as do police, ambulances, fire services etc. what do you suggest? stop all of these being used too? after all, strip a police officer of their uniform, theyre only human, just like everyone else. they make mistakes. ive seen them. and asked the chief constable why the officers weren’t subjected to the same punishments that a civilian would have been for the same misdemeanour. as you can guess, I didn’t receive a response other than ‘they were in a hurry’.
What would be the problem with a message saying, “Delivery aborted, pull over for further instructions”? No need for long involved conversation about the whys and wherefores whilst driving.
he would have to look at his mobile to see the text
Equal best comment. Some sanity at last.
Well said Richard.
Spot on! Best comment.
Absolutely!! I drive a lot for my job and the handsfree is essential for me to get further instructions while out. I believe it’s just a case of whether you can successfully multitask and there should be some way to test this. Personally I can drive while on the handsfree and I don’t “visualise the person on the end of the phone” what garbage is that? I talk and if I have to concentrate then I shut up and whoever is there can babble to their hearts content they will not have my attention until I give it back. Handsfree is no more intrusive than having a talkative passenger, in fact I prefer to talk to people handsfree rather than have them babble in my left ear.
There are people who can not drive and do ANYTHING else but should everyone who can multitask properly be tarred with the same brush?
Using a mobile phone while driving, hands free or not, is just plain dangerous and should be banned. Nothing is so important that it can’t wait till you can pull over somewhere safe and make the call.
The difference between phone use and any other in-car distraction is that you are concentrating on something that is outwith the car and could be hundreds or thousands of miles away – a crucial distinction in my view.
Whereas being if you saw what happened on Corrie last night won’t take you away at all?
I totally agree that ALL forms of using a mobile should be banned whilst the vehicle is on the move. I am an ex pilot and flying instructor, and have listened to the argument that pilots use the radio whilst flying, but, there is a huge amount of room up there, one is not flying in close proximity to other users, There is surprisingly plenty of TIME, if one pauses in the discussion then the Air traffic controllers understand and will not immediately hassle you for a reply. Also flying is much easier than driving a car, It is the other exams and tests that add to the difficulty.
I also agree that modern dash screens are incredibly distracting. I own a 2002 Range Rover, every operation has a separate switch, I know exactly what it does and where it is. My wife’s car is a 2013 Jaguar with a single screen but lots of choices. A nightmare as regards keeping ones eyes on the road.