My Red Thumb is a multi-agency road safety campaign set up to raise awareness of the harm to life and health caused by distracted driversMy Red Thumb is an awareness raising campaign created to remind drivers not be distracted by phones while driving.

This year My Red Thumb Day is on Thursday 10th May, 2018, and we're asking all drivers to support the campaign by wearing a red thumb band as a reminder not to be distracted by texting while at the wheel.

Don't worry if you can't get hold of one of these handy red rubber bands bands, you can achieve the same effect simply by painting your left thumbnail red!

No cash, just awareness

The My Red Thumb campaign isn't about raising funds, just awareness.

Last year, 32% of trauma incidents were road traffic collisions, and 27% of those involved motorcycles.

Like all those affected by such incidents, we want to help reduce road traffic collisions as close as possible to zero. 

If you are a driver who keeps their attention fully on the road at all times, then you probably don't need to give yourself a red-thumb reminder, but you can still help to encourage other road users to think like you do by pledging your support and painting your thumbnail red. When people ask you about your red thumb, you can tell them about the campaign and encourage them to take the same action.

Some facts about using your phone while driving

The information below is from the My Red Thumb website:

A lot of research shows that using a phone to text, or even a hands-free mobile phone whilst driving, present significant distraction, and greatly increases the risk of the driver crashing.

Drivers who use a mobile phone whether hand-held or hands-free:

  • are four times more likely to crash injuring or killing themselves and/or other people
  • are much less aware of what's happening on the road around them
  • fail to see road signs
  • fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed
  • are more likely to 'tailgate' the vehicle in front
  • react more slowly and take longer to brake
  • are more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic
  • feel more stressed and frustrated

Using a hands-free phone while driving does not significantly reduce the risks because the problems are caused mainly by the mental distraction and divided attention of taking part in a phone conversation at the same time as driving.

Remember it isn’t just speaking – texting and using smartphones can be even more distracting than talking on your phone.

The other outcomes of using a phone whilst driving

Beyond the potential significantly increased risk of injury or death to other road users and pedestrians, there are other repercussions to using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Since March 2017 the law changed to include the following penalties:

  • If you are caught driving while using a mobile it’s a £200 fine and Six points - this means that if you are within the first 2 years of passing your test you will lose your license and have to retake your theory and practical tests again!
  • If you cause an accident and kill someone you are likely to go to prison
  • Police will check phone records when investigating a fatal collision or serious injury

Unfortunately, our medical team attend dozens of road traffic collisions each year, many of which could have been avoided were the driver not distracted. 

We want to these sad statistics to go right down, and you can help us by raising awareness of the My Red Thumb campaign. Read more about the campaign, some real stories and the latest news on the campaign website.

  

Our incredible ops team supporting the My Red Thumb campaign.