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Texting while driving is on the up in Sweden. Credit: FREDRIK SANDBERG / TT
Anna says she always uses her phone behind the wheels, but only on handsfree mode.
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Anna says she always uses her phone behind the wheels, but only on handsfree mode.

More and more people admit to texting while driving, finds survey

Klas: It's dangerous, and the law needs to change
4:13 min

A recent survey carried out by the Swedish Motor Vehicle Inspection Company has found that 70 per cent of Swedish drivers admit to reading or sending text messages while driving, up from 24 per cent in 2013.

The survey interviewed just over 2,000 people, and also found that 40 per cent of drivers had taken photos or recorded short videos while driving, while 30 per cent had read or uploaded posts onto social media.

Radio Sweden asked Stockholmers about their experiences of using phones behind the wheel. Abdul explained that he had stopped using his phone while driving, after getting into two accidents.

I was concentrating; I was using my phone and driving very slowly ... but then I (got into) an accident with another car. Since then I decided to stop using my phone.

The Swedish Vehicle-owners' Association, Motormännen, cites research suggesting that sending texts while driving can make an accident twenty-three times more likely. Even talking on a handheld phone can increase the risk of an accident by a factor of 3.6, according to a Virginia Tech study.

Texting while driving is not illegal per se in Sweden. Swedish law stipulates that drivers can be fined for using mobile phones or any other communication devices, but only if that usage has a "considerable impact" on driving.

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