It looks like the temptation to tweet or update your status is too much for some drivers – many now use their mobile phones to access Facebook and Twitter behind the wheel. Are they mad?
Social networking sites have arguably been the biggest phenomenon of the last five years – it was even revealed last week that Facebook is now more popular than porn in the UK.
However, this popularity has come with an undesirable consequence. Devon and Cornwall Police have found that more and more drivers are checking their Facebook status’ and Twitter news feeds on their mobiles, rather than texting or making phone calls.
The dangers in doing this are obvious – just like chatting on your mobile, visiting a social network means you’re not fully concentrating on the road.
Mobile phone usage in cars
It’s not like laws against using handheld devices behind the wheel haven’t been heavily promoted. It’s been illegal to use mobiles while driving since December 2003. And in 2006 the penalty for being caught doing this went up to £60 and three points on your licence. Plus, there have been numerous advertisements and roadside warnings publicising these consequences.
However, with social networking on the rise, road traffic officers now have a new problem to conquer. Just about every new handset can go online, making the temptation to tweet almost unbearable for some, even when they’re out on the road.
Eight in ten motorists use phones while driving
The statistics for mobile phone use behind the wheel is nothing short of tragic. GoodMobilePhones.co.uk recently surveyed 1,859 motorists and discovered 81% admitted to using their mobile behind the wheel. A third said they checked emails while driving, with a quarter admitting to accessing Twitter or Facebook.
From these findings, it’s blaringly clear that current measures to stop phone usage behind the wheel aren’t working. So does this mean that the government should impose more harsh and widespread restrictions on using mobiles in cars? Or should mobile phone networks and manufacturers take some of the responsibility as well?