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AUG 4, 2014

The dangers of, and alternatives to, texting whilst driving

Everyone knows that safe driving takes up a lot of your concentration but it is easy to get distracted whilst on the road. One of the current major causes of car accidents is texting whilst driving; there are three ways in which you can be distracted whilst driving – mentally, physically and visually – and texting involves all three. According to recent statistics, you are 23 times more likely to get into an accident when texting whilst driving, putting you, your passengers, pedestrians and other drivers in a lot of danger. It is believe that 18% of all car accident fatalities from distraction-related crashers are due to being distracted by mobile phones. We have compiled a list of must-dos to avoid phone-related car accidents.

Prevent distraction

As texting involves three methods of distraction it is important to prevent and avoid this distraction as soon as you get into your car. Even if you have no intention of replying to a text until after your journey, your brain will be thinking about it throughout the journey. To avoid mental distraction, reply to any messages you may have before you turn your engine on, this well you won’t be mentally distracted until you reach your destination. Similarly, it is important that you won’t become physically distracted by your phone once you’re on the road. Avoid distraction by turning your phone off or putting it on silent and putting it in your bag so it is unable to distract you.

Hands free

If you absolutely have to be reachable whilst driving, install a hands free kit in your car. This way, you won’t have to text as you can answer your phone, fairly safely, whilst driving. Although talking on the phone still involves mental distraction, physical and visual distractions are mostly removed from the equation. Alternately, if you absolutely have to send an important text message whilst driving, pull over safely and briefly to send the text. While a text message might seem vitally important now, it’ll seem like a triviality if it causes a car accident.

Prepare

Make sure you know where you’re going before you set off. If you are travelling at 55 mph, in the five seconds it takes to send a text, your car has travelled the length of a football field. If an obstacle had presented itself within these five seconds you could have caused, or been a part of, a serious crash. Make sure you know how to reach your destination before you even turn your engine on. Being physically prepared, and having planned your route and alternate routes carefully, can literally be a matter of life and death. Approximately 55% of young adults believe that they are able to text and pay adequate attention to the road at the same time: this is far from true. Don’t risk your life, and the life of those around you, to send a text: no message is as important as your safety and your life.

Created on 4th August 2014
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