Driven to Distraction

Driven to Distraction

Drive.

It’s in us all.

The drive to achieve greatness. The drive to make a genuine positive change. The drive to be the best. All these things are how we operate here at Road Angel.

Our goal is to make the roads the safest we have ever seen so that we can reach the United Nation’s global goal of reaching zero road deaths by 2050. Trends show that incidents on the road have generally reduced almost consistently every year, with the UK being one of the safest countries to drive in. However, until we reach the UN’s goal, there is always more that could be done.

The truth is that road deaths, and even injuries, are totally preventable. With the appropriate measures, we can and must do better. It’s, therefore, encouraging that the UK government took bold action by making it illegal to use a handheld device whilst driving since 25 March 2022.

Mobile phones are a primary source of distraction for drivers, with research showing that there is an increased risk of being involved in a road incident whilst using mobile phones. As a result, it’s not surprising that a third of Britain’s 40 million drivers, equating to 13 million people, state mobile phone use by drivers is their biggest concern.

The Highway Code, alluding to established laws, specifies that it is illegal to hold the phone and use it whilst driving, including:


“You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, capable of interactive communication (such as a tablet) for any purpose when driving…You MUST NOT pick up the phone or a similar device while driving to dial a number and then put it in the cradle for the duration of the conversation. You MUST NOT pick up and use your hand-held phone or similar device while stationary in traffic.”

So long as the device is mounted in a space that doesn’t obstruct the view of the driving scene ahead and the device is not specifically held, use of the device is permitted. Essentially, these measures are intended to reduce driver distraction, which accounts for most road incidents. This means that if a driver interacts minimally with the device without holding it, especially if it does not divert visual attention away from the road itself, there are no legal prohibitions against using that device.

What this means for our devices is that it’s perfectly legal to interact with them whilst driving, so long as you don’t hold them because this would be considered to cause distraction. Incidentally, a recent survey we conducted showed that drivers perceived themselves as being less distracted because of using our devices, with various driving measures, such as speed control and hazard perception, being improved.

We also have a new app that is being developed that will be trialled by people in our RARE club (Road Angel enthusiasts), before being rolled out to all our customers. This will enable us to gain even more precise information from our customers to make the updates to our database more efficient and accurate. Minimising distraction has been at the forefront of the app development, which is why it is being designed so that users can interact with the app without being required to look at the app itself whilst driving.

This is the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. Watch this space. The road to achieving the UN goal is a bumpy one, but one we are already traversing. We are determined to reach the end. Not only this, but we’d love your contribution too, so please get in touch if you would like to suggest any comments. Let’s turn this solo journey into a convoy.