From delight to disaster in a single distraction
January 31, 2017
Every year without fail, more and more South Africans perish on our roads.
In recent times, distracted driving has emerged as one of the leading causes of road accidents worldwide, with 8 people killed and 1 161 injured every day in the United States alone as a result of this new scourge. Studies show that we are distracted by our phones for an average of 52 seconds per trip. This is particularly disturbing if we consider that travelling at just 60 km/h would equate to roughly 1 kilometre of “flying blind.” A lot can happen in a blind kilometre and evidently, a lot does…
If you’re guilty of being easily distracted, here are 5 ways to kick the habit and potentially save some lives:
- Train your brain- know the consequences
In an instant, your life and multiple others can be completely extinguished by your negligence. Is it really worth responding to a trivial text or checking Facebook? It can wait. Keep reminding yourself of the consequences and one day, you will find that the temptation has dissipated completely.
- Use technology against itself
There are literally thousands of mobile apps and gadgets designed specifically to limit your ability to become distracted or to notify you when you are exhibiting distracted driving behaviour. If you love your smartphone, you will love the innovative technologies designed to make them a less dangerous driving companion.
- Solicit the help of a passenger
Passengers can be useful in 3 ways:
- To read your texts and updates aloud and respond on your behalf.
- To shout abuse at you every time you reach for your phone.
- To keep you entertained and alert, negating your need for other stimuli.
- Take regular Whatsapp breaks
If you just don’t have the self-control to wait until you reach your destination, find a safe place to park your car and do your thing. It might take you a little longer to get there, but what’s the rush? At least you won’t be endangering any other lives in the process.
- Switch your phone off
It’s almost too simple… Remove any temptation and preserve precious battery life by switching your phone off until you are no longer behind the wheel.
Do yourself and your family and every other road user a favour. Don’t die on the road.
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