Put down your smartphone while behind the wheel, says AIM

One motoring organisation recently warned that putting down your smartphone while you’re behind the wheel is even more crucial than originally thought, thanks to a new research survey it conducted, according to discount car insurance experts.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists, in conjunction with the Transport Research Laboratory, conducted tests on a car driving simulator, asking motorists to use their mobile phones to access Facebook while driving in order to monitor their performance.  Car insurance companies will no doubt be interested to discover that those who did so saw their reaction times decreasing by around 38 per cent, demonstrating dangerous behaviour that could lead to a motor car insurance claim such as drifting out of one’s lane or not being able to respond quickly enough to a car ahead of them changing speed gradually.

The results, said the IAM, demonstrated that drink driving or driving while under the influence of cannabis are both less dangerous than social networking behind the wheel.  Cannabis was found to delay reaction times by 21 per cent, while the driving at the legal alcohol limit only diminished reaction times by 12.5 per cent in comparison.

Around 8 per cent of motorists admitted that they used their phones to send emails or access social networking sites.  In fact, the age group most likely to do so was comprised of drivers between 17 and 24 years of age, who admitted to undertaking the dangerous activity 24 per cent of the time.

Simon Best, chief executive for IAM, remarked that the research highlights just how dangerous smartphone use can be while behind the wheel.

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