While the number of drivers using a hand held mobile phone has increased slightly in the past six years, the majority of those doing so are now texting or using social media rather than making a call, according to data published today (25 Feb) by the DfT.
The DfT commissioned TRL to carry out a mobile phone survey in 2014 across 60 sites in England and 30 sites in Scotland.
In the survey, 1.6% of all drivers were observed using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving, compared to 1.4% when the survey was previously carried out in 2009.
Of those seen using a mobile, 1.1% were holding it in their hand, while 0.5% were holding it to their ear. The DfT suggests that this indicates that “most mobile phone usage whilst driving is for the purposes of sending or receiving a text or using social media, rather than making a call”.
In terms of gender, a higher proportion of male drivers (1.7%) were observed using a hand-held mobile than their female counterparts (1.3%).
With regard to vehicle type, van drivers (2.7%) had the highest overall rate of mobile phone use. The corresponding figures for car drivers and lorry drivers were 1.4% and 1.2% respectively, while bus, coach and minibus drivers had the lowest rate (0.4%).