STATISTICS show that rural roads like those in Ludlow and south Shropshire and Tenbury and the Teme Valley are amongst the most dangerous in the country.

Vehicles often travel at high speeds along narrow winding roads with the risk of a slow-moving vehicle like a tractor being just around the corner.

But the Midland Air Ambulance that gets called to accidents in isolated areas say that people are adding to the risk by using mobile phones at the wheel.

A quarter of drivers in the UK, the equivalent of 10 million people, admitted to illegally making or receiving calls while driving in 2018.

This statistic is being highlighted by the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity as part of the service’s Drive4Life campaign.

The campaign has been launched in order to raise driver’s awareness of the risks and pitfalls that result in a serious incident on the road, due to road traffic collisions costing the charity £1.68 million last year.

Among all drivers, four in ten admit to checking social media messages, texts or emails when they are in control of a vehicle, but not moving, such as when they are at traffic lights or sat in congestion, up from 38 per cent in 2017.

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s corporate partner, TTC Group, which runs speed awareness courses across the UK, suggests drivers enable their mobile’s ‘do not disturb’ feature, so they aren’t distracted or tempted when at the wheel.

“Driving requires your full attention and anything that diverts your attention away from the road is a distraction, has a detrimental effect on driving performance and can lead to an on-road incident,” said Andy Wheeler, head of technical delivery at TTC Group.

“Texting, making and receiving calls or livestreaming while driving is a serious and growing threat. Our advice is simple – switch your phone off and don’t take it out until

you have reached your destination and it is safe to do so.”