Mobile phones are becoming a bigger part of our lives. A mobile is so much more now than just a device for making a phone call. Once we were only distracted by phone calls and texts while driving. Now it's the temptation to watch the latest YouTube video, read an email from a mate, update your Facebook status or 'tweet' the latest happenings.
And as they've become a bigger part of our lives, we find it harder and harder to live without them.
And the temptation to stay connected and updated leads to distractions in all areas of our lives - even those where it becomes plain dangerous.
Why is being distracted while driving so dangerous?
- Using mobile phones can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel, and their minds off the surrounding situation.
- Being distracted while driving can also reduce your reaction time which affects your ability to anticipate and avoid hazards on the road.
- Imagine a child stepping out onto the road if you happen to be distracted for a few seconds. The consequences are simply shocking.
- Driving demands all of your attention and any other tasks that require you to share your concentration impacts your ability to drive safely.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of serious car crashes in South Australia. Inattention is reported to be the primary cause in nearly 30% of fatal crashes and 45% of serious injury crashes each year. Research shows that using a mobile phone while driving increases the risk of crashing by at least four times. The most common types of crashes associated with mobile usage are 'run-off-the-road' crashes and 'rear end' crashes.
Next time you get into your car, switch it off or to silent and leave it alone until the end of your journey. No matter how tempting it feels, nothing is more important than driving safely.
You can live without it.
What You Can Do.
- The best time to use the phone is when you are not driving.
- Switch your phone off or to silent when getting into the car so that you're not tempted to use it. Allow calls to go to message bank and return them after your journey has ended.
- If you must make or receive a call then you should pull over to the kerb when and where it is safe to do so and put the car in 'park' or 'neutral' with the hand brake on before using the phone.