KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD- The most crucial rule before any other regulation or rule.
Distracted driving remains a problem in South Africa and will continue to remain a road safety issue unless drastic action is taken, reports the the Automobile Association (AA).
Following an event in Johannesburg focusing on distracted driving in South Africa, the AA believes that action needs to come from government officials but more importantly, says the organisation, “in the form of a change of attitude among drivers”.
The AA said: “We brought together a number of journalists to drive in simulators. Once comfortable with the simulators, we tested them without distractions, and then again with distractions. The results are alarming, and clearly indicate that when distracted, drivers’ reaction times are slower, and they are much more prone to crash.”
At the event, journalists were sent sms messages they needed to respond to, and were asked to open and close a water bottle. They were also distracted by being engaged in simple conversation.
READ: Distracted driving in SA – are you guilty?
The AA commented: “We saw that without distractions, the journalists were able to complete a lap of a racing circuit in fairly good times; times recorded for these laps averaged around 1.41 minutes, with hardly any crashes. However, with the distractions these lap times increased to 2.20 minutes, many of them with crashes or the cars spiralling out of control. Although not entirely scientific, the results point to the dangers of having your concentration averted from the road, even for a second.”
While there are many different distractions that constitute distracted driving, the AA highlights the following as the most prevalent:
1. Talking on cellphones, or texting while driving
2. Eating while driving
3. Putting on ties or other clothing while driving, or changing clothes when driving
4. Applying make-up while driving
5. Looking to the backseat to engage passengers, especially children
6. Setting GPS devices while moving
7. Searching for items in various areas of the car while driving
Watch here how so easy you can be rushed to hospital or even lose your life: