Phone smart

Campaigning to stamp out deadly driver distraction by texts, emails and calls.

Driving is a highly complex task requiring a person’s full attention, as any error can be catastrophic. Driving whilst using a phone (either hand-held or hands-free) has been shown to have a more detrimental impact on safety than drinking certain amounts of alcohol and with the increasing dominance of mobile devices in our lives, the risks and danger of driver distraction must be addressed with urgency.

Phone smart is a campaign to eliminate the danger of driver mobile phone use from our roads. Simply put, no call or message is worth a life.

What are we calling for?

 Through our Phone Smart campaign, Brake is calling for:

  • The banning of hands-free phones at the wheel
  • Regulation against the use of in-built car 'infotainment' screens
  • Investment in visible, effective and tough enforcement and punishment of people who talk, read and write at the wheel

Key facts

  • Driver reaction times are 30% slower on a hands-free phone than driving with a blood alcohol level of 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood (the current limit in England and Wales), and nearly 50% slower than a driver not on a phone.
  • Drivers on any phone are four times more likely to be in a crash that causes injury.
  • Messaging drivers have 35% slower reaction times and poor lane control and one large-scale study found they were 23 times more likely to crash than an attentive driver. About half of drivers aged 25-34 in a Brake and Direct Line survey admitted to messaging, using apps and browsing at the wheel.

Take action

Learn more

Learn more about the dangers of mobile phone use behind the wheel, here and about driver distraction, here.
Explore the research
Brake’s campaigns are evidence-led and seek to learn and build on existing research.

Campaign news


Tags: Drink-Drive mobile phone Phone Smart hands-free campaign