Drivers are being warned to concentrate on the road and not be distracted by mobile phones or passengers following an alarming rise in road deaths.
Twenty two people have died on Essex’s roads since January this year, with 14 of the casualties being driver and passenger.
In-depth police investigations are ongoing, but the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) initial findings show two dominant causes for these accidents – head-on collisions and loss of control.
SERP research shows that in-car distractions such as mobile phones, car radio and heating controls or passengers are the most common causes of this type of accident.
Nicola Foster, Chairman of Safer Essex Roads Partnership, 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.”
Inspector Danny Parsons, of Essex Police Casualty Reduction Section: “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 whilst they are driving and to tell a driver to stop using a hand held device if need be.