It goes without saying that most people (if not almost everyone) own a mobile phone these days. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that there are still too many people using their mobile phones while driving. Most of them think, “it’s fine, I’ve still got one eye on the road” and they’re doing it safely, but the fact of the matter is there is nothing safe about driving while using your phone.

An RAC Report showed a significant increase in the number of drivers admitting to using a mobile phone at the wheel. It shows that, between 2014 and 2016 this figure has risen from 8% to 31%. Regardless of the reason, any distraction behind the wheel can lead to accidents, severe injuries and fatalities.

If you’re reading thinking this might be you or someone you know, here are a few ways to help you fight the urge:

  • Put your phone on silent – if you can’t hear it you won’t be tempted to check it.
  • Put it where you can’t get it – if ‘on silent’ isn’t enough to stop you, put it out of reach. Maybe in a bag behind your seat or stash it away in the glove compartment.
  • Practice patience – consider whether it’s worth risking your safety, and that of your passengers/other road users, to read a text while driving. Wait until you’ve reached your destination.
  • Pull over and stop – if it’s really that urgent, best to do it safely. It will only take a few minutes to pull over (safely, of course) and read/send that text. If it’s not important enough to pull over for then it’s not important enough to risk your life for.
  • Snapchat isn’t all that – honestly, it’s not worth the risk to get that 10 second video of the road ahead while you play your music. Wait till you get to your destination.

When you’re behind the wheel, your actions can either cause or prevent an accident from happening. Everybody thinks ‘that’s never going to happen to me’, until it happens. It’s important to be alert at all times. Don’t be a statistic — don’t be a distracted driver!

insurethebox supports the My Red Thumb campaign, which encourages drivers to paint their thumbnail red as a reminder not to use a mobile while driving. This year the campaign takes place on 10th May.

For more information on the penalties of using your phone while driving read our blog.