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Droomers News! (edition 440)

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Droomers News! (edition 440)

WOULD YOU DRIVE BLIND? 

 

For some time, distracted driving, in particular while using a cellphone, was touted as a major challenge to road safety, potentially as problematic as drunken driving. Yet, as we resume normal lives, the increased screen time most people experienced during lockdown has increased cellphone use while driving according to experts.   

 

Whether you worked remotely or waited out lockdown at home, most people will admit their cellphone use increased. This tendency can affect driving. International research conducted by GEM Motoring Assist and Westcotec says greater reliance on one's digital devices may make it more difficult to put these aside while driving. 

 

Using your phones to communicate is replacing face-to-face interactions as the new norm.  Consequently, more drivers are likely to ignore the dangers of distracted driving and continue using their devices while behind the wheel as it is now a habit.

 

The question is, where to from here? “During lockdown there was a massive reduction in crashes and consequent reduction in the strain placed on the GDP and healthcare system. With the reduction in fatalities seen this year, it would be a tragedy for these numbers to skyrocket because of an addiction to technology transferred into the car.

 

Instead, awareness must be brought to this potential increase in addiction to technology along with emphasising the importance of not using your phone while driving. Policing will play an important role in helping reduce phone use in the car but the real change requires drivers to acknowledge the danger themselves and commit to not using phones while driving.

 

As we begin to enjoy the greater freedoms of level one, let us make a concerted effort to ensure all remain safe on the roads. Give road safety the same level of importance as you did before the pandemic became a crisis across the world. Ideally, avoid using your phone at all especially on a short trip between two destinations. 

 

If, however, this is unavoidable ensure that you only use Bluetooth. When a call can wait until you arrive at your destination, do so. Under no circumstances should you go on social media, read emails or send text messages whilst driving. Even glancing at a notification removes your attention from the road for at least 13 seconds, or the time that it takes to travel across a football field.

 

 

Using your phone whilst driving is akin to driving blind. Think of all the things that could go wrong if you were to drive while blindfolded for 13 seconds. That alone should be enough impetus to not pick up your phone whilst you're driving.

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