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Fatal distraction

Even careful drivers can be distracted, by a phone call, text message, in car technology or a Satnav. A split second lapse of concentration could result in a crash.

It’s your call

Using a mobile phone when driving increases the chances of a crash by 4 times.

Did you know that using any type of mobile, whether it is handsfree or handheld means your reaction times are worse than those driving under the influence of alcohol?

Is the call more important than your life? Could you?

  • Divert calls to your messenger service and check your calls when you take a break.
  • Have a no calls rule when driving. Pull over when it is safe instead (not the motorway hard-shoulder).
  • Let people know you do not answer calls when driving. Arrange a code for any urgent calls e.g. Call three times for a set number of rings, you can pull over when it is safe and return their call.
  • Ask your passenger to make or take the call instead.

Have a go at the Think! drive challenge to see how well you do at driving and talking on a mobile phone at the same time. - Think! Drive Challenge (Add image and link to website for think drive challenge)

Isn’t talking to a passenger just as distracting?

When we communicate with others, over half of what we pick up is non-verbal. It takes a lot more concentration to process a conversation on the phone. Passengers are:

  • Less distracting - they can point out hazards or upcoming exits.
  • More likely to stop talking when driving conditions change.
  • In the car and more likely to notice that you need to focus.

Is the text really that important?

  • Texting when driving is illegal and very dangerous.
  • If your attention is focused on your phone are you concentrating on your driving? Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.
    • Visual: taking your eyes off the road.
    • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel.
    • Cognitive: taking your mind off driving.
  • Never read or send a text while driving, it’s just not worth the risk.

Is the answer to your question really that important?

As a caller you play an important role. Would you want to distract the person you are calling from their driving and increase their risk of crashing?

If you call a person on their mobile check that they are not driving. If they are driving:

  • Say you’ll call them later and hang up.
  • Ask them to return your call when they have stopped driving.

Finding your way

In car technology or Sat Navs can be distracting. Set the systems before you drive. If you need to adjust them, pull over in a safe place.