The rise in popularity of the likes of FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat for video calls is posing a new and present danger on roads.
Amost one-in-five (18%) of drivers aged 17-24 admit taking part in video calls while behind the wheel, figures for the RAC Report on Motoring 2020 reveal.
Younger drivers are more than twice as likely to say they make or receive video calls while driving – on average 8% of all UK drivers say they do this, with the figure rising to 13% among those aged 25 to 44.
Equally worrying is the finding that just under one-in-10 drivers aged 17 to 24 (9%) say they play games on their phones while driving, making them three-times more likely to do this compared to the average UK driver.
Other drivers’ use of handheld phones is the second biggest overall motoring-related concern identified in the 2020 RAC Report on Motoring research, after the state of local roads – a third of all UK drivers surveyed (32%) say the issue concerns them and strikingly nearly eight-in-10 (79%) now want to see camera technology introduced to catch drivers acting illegally.
Alarmingly, 29% of drivers of all ages in 2020 say they make and receive calls on handheld phones while driving, that’s 5% more than last year and the highest proportion since 2016.
While younger drivers are still more likely to do so (42%, down from 51% last year), those in the 25 to 44 age group are also statistically more likely to break the law in this way (32% admit to doing so, almost unchanged on 2019’s figure of 33%).