Smartphone Apps Creating More Distraction for Young Drivers on the Road

Recent survey findings from ingenie®, the car insurance brand for young drivers, have revealed that 58% of 17-25 year old drivers agree that smartphone apps are causing young people to be more distracted at the wheel.

ingenie ( commissioned the survey of 1,000 young drivers, conducted by One Poll, which has uncovered the extent of how smartphones and social media are distracting 17-25 year old when behind the wheel.

The latest ingenie survey revealed:

  • Over 40% admitted to answering their phones while driving without a hands-free set
  • 44% said they had sent a text message, and 62% said they had read a message while they were driving
  • 1 in 6 male drivers under 25 has crashed due to mobile phone usage at the wheel
  • One third of under 25s who use Facebook on their phone admitted to using it whilst driving
  • 18% of under 25s who have Draw Something on their phone have played the game whilst driving – 17% for Angry Birds
  • Hands-free kits encourage 53% more young drivers to make longer calls at the wheel (longer than 5 minutes)

The results collected from the survey suggest that the increasing range of apps and functionality available on mobile devices is contributing to young driver distraction – even mobile games, which take a high level of concentration are taking young people’s attention away from the roads.

On the growing range of dangerous distractions created by smartphones, ingenie founder and CEO Richard King said, “We’re in the middle of a perfect storm, where the rapid growth of social media and mobile is creating a new breed of in-car distraction. We’re increasingly using smartphones to occupy ourselves during down time, but driving is an active pursuit and it really does need our full attention. As well as not texting or making calls, we should all pledge not to tweet, update our status or be tempted by anything else our phone has to offer whilst driving.”

King added, “At ingenie we’re doing our bit to prevent distraction – we won’t send driver feedback messages to your mobile if we know the ignition is on, and when our contact centre makes outbound calls, the first question they’ll ask is ‘are you driving?'”

ingenie commissioned the survey ahead of its #DontDriveDistracted campaign on Twitter to reduce road crashes related to driver distraction. The campaign launches on Friday 27th April with celebrity supporters Gary Lineker, Omid Djalili and Williams F1 Team driver Bruno Senna – each making a pledge to cut out distracting behaviour behind the wheel. For each person who makes a pledge on Twitter to not drive distracted, ingenie will donate £1 to RoadSafe.

Gary Lineker, Omid Djalili and Bruno Senna have each recorded their own video pledge, found at Drivers across the UK can then either make a similar pledge, or write their own, and contribute to ingenie’s donation to RoadSafe.

About ingenie:

ingenie is a digital car insurance brand for young drivers aged 17-25 that uses the latest telematics technology (read more: to build a picture of a driver’s individual style and reward those who drive well with cheaper insurance premiums.

Richard King, ingenie founder and CEO, had previous start-up success in the technology/insurance sector as co-founder and executive director of Innovation Group plc, which he helped grow from a start-up to a listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2000 with a peak valuation of £1bn. Chief Underwriter Chris McKee was formerly on the board of Direct Line and has more than 30 years’ experience in direct insurance. Steve Broughton, a highly respected insurance industry professional of more than 30 years, is the chairman of ingenie. In addition to his executive career at RSA Insurance Group, Broughton is also a former chairman of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau and is currently the Chairman of Tesco Underwriting Limited.

ingenie was launched at the end of 2011 with investment from footballer turned broadcaster Gary Lineker (who also supports the brand as an ambassador), Williams F1 Team (who provide expertise in telematics and assist in promoting the brand and road safety) and leading figures from UK business including Sir Martin Broughton, Chairman of British Airways and Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive of BT Retail (BT Group PLC).

About RoadSafe

RoadSafe is a leading forum for promoting and devising solutions to road safety problems. Its mission is to reduce road deaths and injuries by sharing knowledge and encouraging innovation. The not-for-profit partnership brings together the motor industry and related companies, traffic engineers, the police and road safety professionals.