Whilst we may think about dangerous driving as drinking or using drugs at the wheel, the modern life of today possesses so many more risks to drivers whilst on the roads.
Unsettling figures show that 9% of drivers have taken a selfie at the wheel, with that increasing to 15% of 18 – 24 year olds and 19% of 25 – 35 year olds. According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), the dangers of selfies at the wheel are clear, with a 2012 research study showing that:
using a smartphone whilst driving could be more dangerous than driving at the legal alcohol limit or when using cannabis.
With slower reaction times, difficulty staying in the same lane and the decreased likelihood of being able to react to even the slowest changing circumstances, the dangers of driving whilst using your phone are shockingly real. However, it doesn’t seem to deter drivers from using their phones or tablets whilst at the wheel.
Our lives are busy, our phones are usually stuck to the side of many of us, so of course, when it comes to driving, it might be hard to peel yourself away from your phone. Plus, it’s not only our phones that pose a risk when driving, with other distractions including:
- Touching up makeup or hair in the rear-view mirror
- Tending to smoking materials
- Adjusting the radio
- Reading directions or operating a satellite navigation system
Whilst changing the radio station or looking at directions might seem minimal or even a necessity, the dangers are clear, and limiting those distractions can certainly pay off in the long run.
To make sure you limit distractions, stay prepared and make sure you get yourself and your car ready before starting a journey.
- Make sure you know the way. Set up your satnav and make sure you are clear on your route before you set off.
- Choose your radio station or music channel and stick with it. If it’s a must, try using the buttons that are usually on the steering wheel of most modern cars. This way you can change your station without taking your eyes off the road.
- Leave your phone on silent and out of reach. If the temptations not there, it makes it a lot easier to avoid. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a suitable place such as the nearest services.
It all comes down to being sensible and alert at the wheel. Take the time to prepare yourself before you start your journey and remember, a few extra minutes to stop or pull over at the services, is better than taking the risk.
Source: Fleet world