WATCH: Man drives off bridge 10 minutes after getting licence
A new driver has sent his freshly registered car into a river while checking his phone just minutes after passing his driver's exam in China, according to local media reports.
The driver, identified as a Mr Zhang, said he looked up from his phone to see two people on the bridge, and swerved out of nervousness.
"While I was driving, I tried to grab my phone and read some messages while two people were in front of me on the bridge. I became nervous and turned left suddenly," Mr Zhang told local media.
His newly registered car careened off the bridge, which didn't have a guard rail.
Mr Zhang said he dislocated his shoulder in the incident and was lucky to get out of the car.
"Luckily, the car floated for a while. I couldn't open the driver's door so I had to kick open the door on the other side. Otherwise, I may never have got out."
Local media reported residents helped get Mr Zhang out of the water and gave him some dry clothes.
Police organised to lift the car out of the river with a crane.
It's unclear whether Mr Zhang will face any penalty over the incident.
According to the South China Morning Post, the fine for drivers who use their phone at the wheel is two points off their licence and a maximum of 200 Chinese yuan, around $A43.
Chinese media called for the penalty to be increased after a woman died in a high-speed crash when her car flipped and burst in to flames in the Fujian province in April last year.
It later emerged she had used her phone 34 times in the half-hour before the crash.
- with wires