According to a new report from the RAC, drivers are making calls, taking pictures and tweeting from behind the wheel in record numbers.
In the past year alone, as many as 11 million drivers have admitted to either making or receiving a call, while a further 5 million have taken either photos or videos while driving.
RAC research points to people now finding mobile phone use behind the wheel as more acceptable than two years ago, with statistics showing a 50% increase in tolerance regarding this issue. Also, the number of people who go on to check their social media accounts in stationary traffic or in congestion has also risen from 14% in 2014 to 20% now.
“It is alarming to see that some drivers have clearly relaxed their attitudes to the risks associated with this behavior but more worryingly is the increase in the percentage of motorists who actually admit to using a handheld device when driving,” said Road safety spokesman Pete Williams.
This is looking more and more like a huge issue, especially seen as how statistics gathered by the Transport Research Laboratory reveal that drivers using a phone had reaction times 30% slower than those who were found to be over the current drink-drive limit, as reported by Autoexpress.
Because of these factors, the Government is currently considering increasing the minimum fine to £150 with four penalty points – as opposed to the previous three for non-HDV drivers and three to six for HGV drivers.
“The RAC is also calling on the Government to invest in a high profile awareness campaign to highlight the danger of using a handheld phone at the wheel and to drive home the message that it simply won’t be tolerated,” added Mr Williams.
“With the advent of a new era in gaming and augmented reality apps like Pokemon Go which attracts young and old fans, we need to address the temptation which some feel unable to resist, and make the use of handheld phones while driving an absolute no-go.”