Tougher new rules on smartphone use in cars have been announced by ministers because of concerns over the potentially lethal distractions they cause to motorists. Yet safety experts point out that smartphones are just the beginning.
Indeed, the growing trend towards in-car touch screens and digital dashboards means that many distractions are already built into cars.
When the legislation outlawing mobile phone use in cars arrived in 2003, handheld use was out, but hands-free access was allowed.
Fears: The new crackdown against driver distractions from phones comes as car firms are replacing traditional dashboards with touch screens and promoting this as a key selling point
This was despite studies showing that the key danger is being engrossed in a conversation, losing concentration and ‘zoning out’, rather than the physical act of holding the phone. So why prosecute only handheld use? Because legally it is easier to make a prosecution…