Essex drivers warned over car distractions after rise in road deaths

Drivers in Essex are being warned about the dangers of car distractions after a rise in road deaths

Drivers in Essex are being warned about the dangers of car distractions after a rise in road deaths - Credit: Archant

Essex drivers are being warned not to be distracted by mobile phones or passengers after an alarming rise in road deaths in the county.

Since January, 22 people have died on roads in Essex, with 14 of the casualties being driver and passenger.

Initial findings from the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) show that head-on collisions and loss of control are the two dominant causes for these accidents.

SERP research suggests that in-car distractions, such as mobile phones, car radios, heating controls or passengers are most commonly to blame.

Nicola Foster, chairman of SERP, said: “I urge drivers to concentrate fully on their driving to avoid the devastating consequences which can result from being distracted.

“There really is no excuse for using a mobile phone whilst driving. Driving a car is a task which requires a driver’s full attention. You may also need to remind passengers about the risk.

“The best way not to be distracted by your phone is to simply turn it off and put it out of sight. This is one small change that could save your life.”

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Inspector Danny Parsons, of Essex Police casualty reduction section, said: “We will continue to enforce and educate Essex drivers who are caught using any hand held device. We also urge passengers not to distract drivers while they are driving, and to tell a driver to stop using a hand held device if need be.”

Further safety information can be viewed at the Safer Essex Roads website - https://saferessexroads.org/road-users/advice/mobile-phones/.