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Young men three times more likely to get distracted behind the wheel

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Young male drivers are over three times more likely to get distracted by using a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel, according to research by Motors.co.uk.

Teenagers and young men are 82 per cent more likely to answer a telephone call while driving compared to the average driver.

These are the findings of a new distracted driving challenge, designed by Motors.co.uk, testing the reaction times of the British public and their propensity to be distracted by an incoming call. The multi-device driving experience, called Time to Stop, takes users on a virtual car journey and examines their concentration by presenting them with an incoming mobile phone call as they drive.

Time to Stop has discovered that one in five people would pick up a call while driving, with 17 to 25-year-old male drivers 82 per cent more likely to answer the call compared other drivers. Overall, the test found that men were 24 per cent more likely to answer the call compared to women.

The test also found that older people and women do not get as easily distracted as their younger male counterparts and while men aged between 17 and 25 were the most irresponsible, men aged between 26 and 36 were still 75 per cent more likely to get distracted and answer the call compared to other drivers.

Everyone who took the test aged between 17 and 25, including young women, were 65 per cent more likely to answer the call than average drivers.

The test has been released alongside a petition to the UK government for a major new national safety campaign. Motors.co.uk is aiming to gather 10,000 signatures, which would see the issue raised in parliament.

Phill Jones, managing director of Motors.co.uk, said: “Our Time to Stop driving simulation has shown drivers are more likely to get distracted than previously thought. It is paramount that drivers remain as undistracted as possible on the road, for their own and others’ safety. We believe a national safety campaign should be created that clearly and memorably restates the law, highlighting the dangers and impact of using a handheld device when driving.

“The last campaign of this type was released in 2012, and it focused primarily on cutting down on making and taking calls behind the wheel. In the intervening four years, not only has the number of phones in use increased dramatically, but so has the range of functionality on these devices, increasing their role in our everyday lives – and the consequent potential in-car distraction.”                   

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