Distracted drivers aren’t just a threat to themselves: they’re a danger to everyone else on the road. The mobile phone is symbolic of ‘distraction in traffic’. Texting (and navigating on the phone) is the most alarming distraction. Since our mental capacity is limited, we can only pay attention to a part of our environment. A road user should first and foremost be focused on traffic. Distracted driving encompasses: Reading and sending text messages and typing or updating a social network site

 Effects of distracted driving

  • Worse braking reaction time
  • Worse reaction to traffic signals
  • Difficulty in keeping the correct lane
  • Difficulty in keeping the correct headway distance
  • Drivers zigzag more

Why distracted driving is dangerous?

Drivers using mobile phones are approximately 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers not using a mobile phone. Using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on roads. Distraction affects a number of essential aspects of driving skills. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 80kph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

More texting = higher probability of a crash

  • Driver more likely to lose control
  • Less time to take preventive action
  • Less accurately reaction to deceleration by the driver in front
  • Difficulty in keeping their lane

Key Recommendations

 There is a clear need for drivers to avoid using their mobile phones while driving. How?

  1. Turn your cell on “silent” (and keep vibrate off)!
  2. Keep the phone out of sight and reach! Having the volume and vibrate feature off may not be enough.
  3. Completely turn your cell phone off!
  4. Pull over and stop if it is important to answer a call!
  5. Parents lead by example – It’s not an age or experience issue, it is a safety and distracted driving issue!