Fewer than half of van drivers use hands-free or Bluetooth technology to make calls, according to research conducted by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Van drivers make on average seven calls a day whilst driving and spend an average of 37 minutes on the phone for work each day however, only 41% of drivers use hands-free and Bluetooth technology on a frequent basis, according to a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles survey.
Claire English, head of fleet at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “Mobile phone use behind the wheel is a topic that we’ve been monitoring over the past couple of years and the recent statistics show it’s still a huge safety problem on UK roads. Despite carrying a hefty punishment, it lacks the taboo of other offences such as drink-driving and this needs to change.
Van drivers ignoring mobile phone laws risk getting a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.
According to the RAC Report on Motoring, 17% of drivers in the UK admitted to sending and receiving texts, checking e-mails or posting on social media while driving. Last year, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles revealed 23% of drivers do not have hands-free kit in their van.
The Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles research also revealed that van drivers in London, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North East are most likely to dial using the handsfree-technology while Scottish van drivers are twice as likely to give hands-free a miss compared to any other region.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers a Bluetooth hands-free kit as standard across its entire model range. English said: “As part of our Working With You promise, we’re committed to improving safety on UK roads for both our customers and other road users, always ensuring we provide the right equipment for the job, for example offering Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and a handsfree kit as standard across the range.”