DISTRACTIONS such as talking on a handheld mobile while driving caused one fatal and ten serious crashes in Warwickshire last year.
Warwickshire Police is warning drivers and passengers supervising learners not to use a handheld mobile phone – one of the top four causes of death and injury on the roads, alongside not wearing a seatbelt, drink and drug driving, and speeding.
Officers are also asking passengers to avoid distracting drivers.
Sgt Shaun Bridle said: “When you are driving, your safety, the safety of your passengers and the safety of other road users is paramount. It is essential that you keep your full attention on the road.
“Whoever you are texting or calling really would not want you to have a collision because you are distracted by them, potentially injuring yourself or someone else.
“It is also illegal and dangerous to use social media apps, select music, or check emails when you should be focusing on the road ahead.”
Last year, officers attended three serious and one fatal crash where using a mobile phone while driving was a factor.
The force added that changing the channel on the radio, chatting to a passenger and having children in the car can all impact concentration when driving.
In 2021 driving while distracted was a contributory factor in ten serious and one fatal collision.
Police advise turning phones off and removing from reach, not snacking at the wheel, saving in-depth conversations for when the journey is over, not responding to calls or messages, and relying on voice instructions when using sat-navs or similar.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership is working with approved driving instructors to educate young drivers around the risks of being distracted whilst driving. This is because we know that a young driver’s risk of crashing increases by 12 per cent for every passenger in the car.
“As well as teaching a young person to drive, approved driving instructors use The Honest Truth to also teach the essential decision-making skills that new drivers need to stay safe when first driving on their own.”
He added such schemes aimed to halve the number of people killed and seriously injured on Warwickshire roads by 2030.
The public can help improve road safety by using Operation Snap to report and submit digital footage showing driving offences.
Visit www.warwickshire.police.uk/operation-snap for more information.
Follow the campaign on social media on Facebook (@WarwickshirePolice and @WarwickshireRoadSafety) and Twitter (@WarksPolice and @WarksRoadSafety).