Drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.
You are 4 times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone.
Your reaction times are 2 times slower if you text and drive using a hands-free phone than if you drink drive, and this increases to three times if you use a handheld phone.
Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash. At 30 mph a car travels 100 feet in 2.3 seconds.
It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile phone or similar device for any purpose when driving. This means you cannot hold a phone or similar device in your hand to follow a map, read and send messages, make or take calls, use the Internet, take a photo, or change a music track.
It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.
These both apply even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
You can use a handheld phone if you
need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop
are making a contactless payment at, for example, a drive-thru
are parking the vehicle remotely using an App on the phone.
You should wait until you are safely parked before using a hand-held mobile phone.
If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence, a fixed penalty notice of £200 or a fine of up to £1,000 (or £2,500 if you’re a bus or lorry driver).
You’ll also be risking a driving ban; if you get just 6 points in the first 2 years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
Using a hands-free device (for example, for navigation) is not a specific offence in the same way as using a hand-held mobile phone. However, if this distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted by the police.
You risk a driving ban
Points on your licence leads to higher insurance costs