CommercialFleet

Nine in ten van drivers admit to using phone behind the wheel

phone use while driving

Almost 90% of van drivers that took part in a survey have admitted to using their smartphone while driving.

The study was carried out by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and comes less than a year after the rules around phone use behind the wheel were strengthened.

The latest legislation means motorists are now breaking the law if they use a handheld device for any purposes while driving, and face a penalty of six points on their licence and a £200 fine if caught.

There is an exemption that allows for contactless payments to be made while the vehicle is stationary, such as at a drive-through, and the use of hands-free devices remains legal while driving, provided that the device is safely secured and positioned.

Half of the van drivers surveyed said they were not aware of the specific changes to phone usage laws, which prohibit texting, taking photos, scrolling social media and playlists, or playing games. The other half admitted to knowing but figures show many are continuing to check devices anyway.

Many van drivers have already transitioned to technology to help them do work on the move, with the study finding 96% have access to in-built connectivity, such as Bluetooth, with 75% of van drivers making up to 10 hands-free calls a day.

Rob Holdcroft, head of network sales at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “In these dangerous, icy weather conditions, it’s even more important to make sure drivers are fully focused on the road ahead. For all those on the road to remain safe – drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike – extra concentration and care is needed. Looking at your phone is a distraction that must be avoided, and with in-built hands-free technologies, this is easy to avoid while driving.

“As part of our Working With You promise, we offer a range of safety technology and features, such as voice control and Adaptive Cruise Control, so van drivers can keep themselves and other road users safe.”

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