FOMO is influencing dangerous driving on UK roads

By John Lendrum - September 8th, 2016 | Posted in Article

kindly supplied by Laura of Aviva Insurance

Social media and FOMO, which is the Fear Of Missing Out, could be putting road-users at risk, as motorists admit to checking social networking sites and reading messages on their phones while driving.

A recent survey by Aviva Insurance  unveiled that more than four in 10 drivers admit to using their mobile phones while driving, putting themselves and other road users at risk. Last year, the UK Department for Transport reported that almost 500 incidents involved a driving being distracted by their mobile phones, and the numbers are on the rise.

The results from the survey also revealed bad habits across different age groups. Over two thirds of drivers aged over 55 who use their mobiles answer phone calls without a hands-free kit, compared to 41% aged 18-34. Road users aged between 18-24 – who admit to using their mobiles – are more likely to be using a messenger app (61%), Instagram (32%) and Snapchat (29%).

Aviva’s research also showed us that over half of drivers have typed something, such as a text, email or comment on social media. One in eight drivers have admitted to uploading an image or video to their mobiles behind the wheel. Sgt Neil Dewson-Smyth from Cheshire Police commented on the findings:

“The livestream behaviour, for me, adds additional load on the driver. Holding the phone, reading comments and performing all mean the driver is focused far too much on what they are doing and who they can entertain or impress and not on their driving. That puts them, passengers, other drivers and pedestrians at hugely increased risk.”

“To look away from the road, read a comment, look back and regain full awareness takes about 5 seconds. At 40mph the distance covered is equivalent to the length of a football pitch.. blindfolded.”

Dewson-Smyth also highlighted that “the whole concept of the danger is that the drivers’ attention should be on the road and those around them. When it’s half focused on their phone then tragedy is a heartbeat away.” There’s several ways you can reduce the ‘FOMO’ distraction while you’re driving:

1:Put your mobile phone on silent

2:  Turn off notifications

3;  Pre-plan journeys if it’s somewhere new  – so you know where you’re going

4:  Keep you mobile out of sight

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