5. FAQs and useful links

We’ve covered a lot, but there might still be some things regarding using a mobile phone behind the wheel, distracted driving or overall road safety which you’re unsure about. If so, check out this useful section – which is full of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other links and resources you will find handy.

FAQs

These are some of the most commonly asked questions by drivers who are concerned about using their phone or staying safe on the roads.

Does the law for using a mobile behind the wheel allow exceptional circumstances?

It does, if you’re in need of emergency services. As we previously touched on, you can make calls to 999 or 112 while driving. Otherwise, you are never allowed to be on your mobile, even if you’re stopped at a red light or in a deadlock of traffic.

How common is it for someone to drive while using a mobile?

Surprisingly so, a recent survey discovered. As many as 14% of people admitted to believing it was acceptable to use their phone behind the wheel. The number of people who decided to check social media in traffic was as high as 20%, while 31% of people admitted to making or receiving calls as they drove.

What is a Fixed Penalty Notice and how do I appeal one?

This is a penalty assigned to you by the police, and can be handed out for a series of misdemeanors. Using a phone behind the wheel falls into this bracket. However, unlike a lot of sanctions put on you by the authorities, you do have the chance to appeal if you disagree with what they’ve charged you for.

If you’d like to challenge a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), you can. At this point you’ll head to court, with the police attempting to prove your guilt. They can do this by accessing your phone records and other important and relevant pieces of data. If you’re found innocent, you will escape all charges and be paid compensation for legal fees.

What classifies as using a mobile while driving?

Holding or looking at your mobile while driving - even when stationary at a red light or deadlocked in traffic - will classify as using it. Naturally, the inclusion of looking will result in a lot of people feeling they have been wrongfully charged – hence why FPNs are often challenged.

Can I use voice activation technology on a hands-free device while driving?

You can. So long as the device doesn’t require you to take your hands away from the wheel or eyes from the road, you’ll be able to control it via voice activation technology. This even extends to being able to send a text message if your phone has capabilities which allows you to narrate a message.

What types of roads lead to the most casualties?

While most accidents happen on built-up roads, the majority of those which are fatal actually occur on non-built-up roadways. This is because of higher average speeds in areas which are much trickier to navigate (with tight bends and the sudden necessity to stop).

How can I stay safe when my car breaks down?

While you should always try and take preventative measures to ensure you never break down, it does sometimes happen. If that’s the case for you, it’s crucial you remember not to panic, pull over to the side of the road (if you can) and exit your car safely. Steer well clear of the road and call your breakdown provider immediately.

How can I prepare for winter driving conditions?

As well as taking one of the courses we mentioned earlier, you can also prepare for driving in icy conditions by attaching winter tyres to your car (with extra grip) and driving slower in general.

Useful Links

If you’d like to discover more about road safety, distracted driving or using a mobile phone behind the wheel, feel free to check out any of these fantastic resources for further information.