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What is the safest way to use a mobile phone in your vehicle?

A Find a suitable place to stop

It’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving, except in genuine emergencies. Even using hands-free kit is very likely to take your mind off your driving. If the use of a mobile causes you to drive in a careless or dangerous manner, you could be prosecuted for those offences. The penalties include an unlimited fine, disqualification and up to two years’ imprisonment.

Related Information

Facts about using mobile phones while driving

If you use a mobile phone while driving, your crash risk increases by four times. Carrying a phone in one hand while talking on the phone substantially impairs one's ability to drive. We are aware that distracted drivers react roughly 50% slower than non-distracted drivers. Even the best drivers can be distracted by a call or text, showing that mobile phones are a danger when you're not using them. Accidents may happen as a result of this brief moment of distraction.

Five seconds is the minimum amount of time that can be spent texting and driving, according to an infographic from Texting and Driving Safety. This is equivalent to driving the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at the road.

How to stay safe?

There are a few things to keep in mind when using a mobile phone while driving to protect your safety on the road.

- Avoid making or answering calls while driving.

- When driving, avoid sending or reading texts.

- Do not look at your phone when it goes off.

- Pull over and park in a safe place if you need to make or receive a call or text.

- Avoid the temptation to use your phone while in traffic.

- Do not call or text someone who you know is driving.

- Stand in a safe place and pay attention to your surroundings when using your phone on the side of the road.

Is using hands-free devices legal?

The law governing hands-free devices is a little unclear. Although they are not strictly prohibited, the UK government believes they are a distraction. If you are caught driving recklessly while using one, you could face legal action for improper vehicle control.

Do the rules ever have any exceptions?

When it would be risky or impractical to stop, you are permitted to use your phone while driving to dial 999 or 112 in an actual emergency.

Mobile phones and breakdowns

Get your vehicle to a safe place and switch off everything before calling for help if you break down. Before making a call, exit the vehicle and choose a safe place to stand. Wear a high-visibility visibility jacket and keep a safe distance from oncoming traffic while you're on the motorway. Always be alert of your surroundings since you can be in danger.



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