RAC suggests 'social media FOMO' is a threat to road safety
Police claim that the transformation of mobile phones into "small computers" is hampering the progress of road safety, the RAC reports.
Officers throughout the country have noticed that using social media apps while driving has become a common driver behaviour.
The motoring organisation suggests that, in the social media era, 'fear of missing out' (FOMO) has intensified and now carries over to the time spent driving.
In November, a week-long campaign to tackle illegal mobile phone use resulted in more than 40 drivers being caught every hour.
Speaking from a roadside operation in Oldham, PC Steve Bretnall of Greater Manchester Police said that the increase in news apps, social media and even games had become a threat on the UK's roads.
Recounting an incident, PC Bretnell told the RAC: "I gave somebody a traffic offence report two weeks ago for using her phone to check Facebook and scrolling through Facebook while she was driving. She didn't see a problem with that, she said 'I'm not using it as a phone.'"
PC Bretnell noted that this was a common misconception; that you could only commit an offence if you had your mobile phone to your ear and were in conversation. However, the officer pointed out that this isn't the case at all.
RAC road spokesman, Pete Williams, noted that in the latest RAC Report on Motoring, nearly a fifth of drivers admitted to texting, emailing or posting on social media while driving, with this figure rising to 37% when in stationary traffic.
While the Department for Transport is set to introduce tougher punishments for those caught using a phone at the wheel, the RAC believes there is still more to be done.
Do you think the tougher punishments are enough of a deterrent?