Drivers warned to play it safe with smart devices

Drivers warned to play it safe with smart devices 29th April 2015

Drivers have been warned by the Department for Transport (DfT) that they need to make sure they are being safe when driving, and not using technology when they are on the road. 

Smart technology has now become more widespread than ever, and with Apple having released its smartwatch this past week, it is more tempting than ever for drivers to check messages and other notifications while they are in their car. 

It is something that has been highlighted as a problem recently as well, with the road charity Brake stating that 71 per cent of drivers have seen other road users distracted by their phones in recent times. 

And the Transport Research Laboratory has said that using technology when behind the wheel can reduce reaction speeds of drivers by as much as 2.5 seconds, making them far more likely to have an accident. 

It said that the rise in smart watches can only serve to make this problem worse, because the small screens mean that it takes drivers' brains longer to react to what they can see, meaning their concentration is on their phone for far longer. 

A spokesman for the DfT said: "Drivers must give their full attention to the road, which is why it has been illegal since the 1980s to view a screen while driving a motor vehicle, unless that screen is displaying driving information. There are no plans to change this."

As well as having implications for safety, driving when using a mobile phone can land motorists in a spot of hot water. The DfT says that anyone who is caught looking at their phone while they are in control of a vehicle can face a fine of £100 and three points on their licence. 

Drivers are reminded that this applies to when they are sitting still at traffic lights or in a queue. If you need to use a smart device while on the road, you need to pull over to the side of the road and stop the car. 

Posted by Danielle Barge