According to recent studies motorists could experience a 20% rise in car insurance premiums if prosecuted for using a mobile phone whilst driving. The studies were initiated due to the increase in people using a mobile phone behind the wheel. Smart phones are being held partly responsible for the rise as young people in particular are able to take advantage of new technological advances. These highly sophisticated devices allow the owner to browse the internet, download & play music, text, play games and use of a variety of applications – all potentially whilst driving. It is safe to say that stereotyping young drivers as being more prone to distractions by devices such as mobile phones, will not aid their battle to lower their already expensive insurance premiums.
Statistics reveal that approximately 170,000 drivers are caught per year on the phone, which is similar to those given speeding offences – but with worse repercussions on premiums. The current consequence of being caught using a mobile phone whilst driving will land you a minimum £60 fine and 3 points on your licence. However, these punishments are the least of your worries when you consider the implications it will have on your insurance premium. Your insurer must be aware of these convictions, so it is imperative that you explain all your convictions in advance to ensure your insurance will be valid.
It is understandable that various individuals may require frequent communication if they are required to travel around the country as part of their employment. So, an alternative widely used are ‘hands free’ devices. The theory behind this is being able to participate in a conversation whilst maintaining full concentration on driving – both hands on the wheel. Unfortunately, research has proven that this can also provide a distraction to the driver, therefore you can still be prosecuted for improper use of those devices whereby your driving ability is impaired. New cars are now modified for the use of a mobile phone. Nevertheless it will still be several years before the prices become low enough for most people.
As much as you may dismiss using a phone as a minor infringement it is a breach of safety when a driver attempts to phone and drive. Even a slight lapse of concentration can cause a road accident – possibly resulting in minor or severe road accident injuries. In summary, 3 points on your licence, £60 fine, increased insurance premium and possible chance of minor or severe injuries – only one question springs to mind : Can you really afford it?