Talking on your cell phone while driving
Talking on your cell phone or texting while driving is a traffic violation. In fact using your mobile device for any form of social media while driving is not acceptable. We can multitask just about anywhere and manage to complete the task without encountering any obstacles. But driving and using your cell phone is totally wrong as it is a complete distraction. It does not matter how fast you move your figures on your phone, the fact remains your concentration is diverted.
Many of the latest model vehicles are fitted with a hands free mobile device but most drivers do not use this facility as they are looking to use the social media and not just make phone calls. Driving requires concentration on our SA Roads especially with our roads being congested daily. Doing many other activities like watching a video or grooming yourself while driving also causes a distraction and can result in an accident. Talking or texting on your cell phone is the number 1 cause of road accidents every year.
I recently noticed that a lot of drivers talk on their phones while driving to work in the mornings. And as I glance at them, I ask myself “who are they talking to so early in the morning?” If you have just left your home a few minutes ago, why is there a need to be on your cell phone?
Surely you have checked that all is well at home before waving good bye to your family. Or are you catching up with your friends on the latest gossip? Think again and choose a safer time to do this. If you manage your social media while driving then you are putting your life and the lives of fellow road users at risk. Instead, re-structure your chores in the morning. Reserve a few minutes before leaving home and go through your phone and do all that you need to do before driving off. This is a habit that needs good management as there is not much time to spare in the mornings.
I also notice a similar situation in the afternoons. I see other drivers getting into their cars and driving off while talking on their cell phone. By this time of the day, everyone is exhausted and cannot wait to get home so why put your life in jeopardy by driving and talking on your cell phone at the same time. Lack of concentration while driving can also cause road rage. A driver can slow down traffic and not be aware of it because of the intense conversation he or she is having on the cell phone. Then on the other hand you will find a driver talking on his phone and weaving through traffic at high speed.
Everyone needs to question themselves about this. Am I talking on my phone while driving or am I phoning someone who could be driving at the same time. If you make a call to a friend or your spouse knowing that they might be driving at that particular time, then you are also contributing to this road traffic violation. Make it your duty and find out when is it an appropriate time to call.
If you need to make an urgent call while driving to work or back home, then pull over onto the emergency lane or side of the road; switch on your emergency lights and make that call. Also if you are driving long distance with passengers, ask one of them to answer your phone for you, but if you are alone, then you need to make frequent stops to check for messages and return calls which is better that answering your phone while driving.
Traffic officers must be more vigilante on the roads and impose fines on drivers for talking on their cell phone while driving. I urge parents to set an example to their children by not using their phones at all while driving.
Fellow South Africans be mindful of other road users. Be smart and save lives.