Confession time: do you ever fiddle with your phone whilst driving?
Time to stop
If the answer is ‘yes’, then you’re not alone. Almost three-quarters of motorists say they do the same, and although more than 120,000 drivers were caught out in 2014, only 17,000 were prosecuted; that’s less than one in seven.
The temptation to have a cheeky check on Twitter or fire off a quick WhatsApp message is apparently too great, with 95 per cent of motorists saying they spot fellow drivers blatantly looking at their phone when sat in traffic, despite laws forbidding mobile phone use from behind the wheel being in place since 2003.
‘Phone-driving’ played a factor in 3,611 accidents between 2009-14, and online vehicle marketplace Motors.co.uk is on a mission to change attitudes with its new online test.
The ‘Time to STOP’ online challenge uses dash-cam clips of a car driving along a typical UK road and tests how quick users can hit their keyboard’s space bar when prompted by a ‘stop’ road sign.
The test assesses reactions by telling them how long they took to press space and where they fit in the spectrum of driver reactions.
As you can see, my reactions were pretty sharp, hitting space in less than half a second. ‘Not too shabby’ indeed.
After the second request to ‘stop’, things get real and any users who entered their mobile number before the test will receive a call whilst travelling down the third road.
If they answer the call, it’s ‘game over, literally’, with the in-game player meeting a presumably grisly end. Ignore the call and you join an elite rank of drivers who resisted temptation and stayed focused on the road ahead – apparently, only one in five drivers do this.
Take the challenge for yourself at motors.co.uk/time-to-stop when you’re next at a computer.
Motors.co.uk has also started a petition calling on the government to run a campaign, similar to anti-drink-drive adverts, in a bid to wake motorists up to the potentially fatal consequences of phone-driving.