Almost half of Spanish drivers admit to using their mobile phone while driving

Using a cell phone while driving is risky in more ways than one. / on

New traffic laws that came into force last month consider this a serious distraction and the penalties are tougher than before

Since Spain’s new traffic law came into force last month, anyone caught having or using a mobile phone while driving faces a 200 euro fine and six points off their license because it’s one of the main causes of driver distraction and they are four times more likely to have an accident. The same applies to changing a GPS route device while driving.

However, a survey carried out by the Foro de Movilidad on behalf of the company Alphabet shows that 45% of Spanish drivers admit to using their mobile while driving. With this in mind, and given the number of people who will be on the roads during Easter week, the car rental company stresses the importance of following the rules.

New traffic law in Spain: can you be fined for keeping your phone in a mobile holder?

Of those who responded to the survey and said they use their phone while driving, 66% say they use it in hands-free mode and 3% say they never use this system. Additionally, 5% of drivers say they use their mobile to send WhatsApp messages while driving their vehicle, and 2% check or respond to emails.

According to the survey, it appears that men are more numerous than women to do so: 49% against 40%. Looking at age brackets, drivers between the ages of 31 and 45 are more likely to use their smartphone, as 51% of those in that age bracket admitted to doing so. The figure for drivers between the ages of 18 and 30 was similar, although they tended to send more WhatsApp messages (8% of this age group).

Satellite navigation systems

Many people use sat navs to get their bearings, and they can be very useful, but it is essential that routes are set before starting a trip or the vehicle goes off the road if the GPS needs to be reset, as the law treats this as an offense similar to using a cell phone while driving.

Under the new law, drivers must not hold a mobile phone in their hand while driving, even if they are stationary, such as in a traffic jam or waiting at a red light. Their use is only permitted when the engine is off and the vehicle is parked off the road in a place where it does not obstruct traffic.