In an attempt to reduce the number of avoidable road accidents, the UK government has introduced tougher penalties for drivers caught using their mobile phones. Drivers who are caught using their phones at the wheel could now face 6 points on their licence and £200 in fines. This means that new drivers in their first two years, could lose their licence if caught.
Whilst using hands-free devices is not illegal, the new regulations mean that you could still be prosecuted by the police if you appear to be distracted by your device.
Given that one of the major contributors to road traffic accidents is mobile phones, there has been a dramatic increase in tech and car accessories designed to help make driving as distraction-free as possible.
In-car Bluetooth headsets that allow drivers to talk hands-free have been around for years, but in recent years their sound quality has improved significantly. Depending on your quality needs, Bluetooth headsets can be picked up from places like Carphone Warehouse for between £15 and £60.
It’s not just mobile phones that have gone hands-free. It’s now possible to get voice controlled sat navs, so you can spend less time trying to re-programme your route and more time concentrating on driving safely. The TomTom VIA 135 Sat Nav, available at Argos, is not only voice controlled, but can also be linked to your phone via Bluetooth for handsfree calling.
The main benefit to all this new technology is obvious – it will make safer drivers of us all and reduce preventable accidents and crashes.
But safer driving could also bring down the cost of your car insurance. With Aviva Car Insurance, for instance, you can download an app that tracks your driving habits. After 200 miles, the Aviva app gives you a driving score out of ten. Drivers with scores of 7.1 or higher can save an average of £170 on their car insurance with Aviva.
Remember though – whilst this technology is designed to enhance your safety, there is no substitute for careful driving. To avoid becoming distracted, consider not taking calls while driving (even using hands-free Bluetooth devices) and always find a safe place to stop and check your route, whether you’re using a sat nav or a traditional map.
Last updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2017
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