Texting is most dangerous activity

2018-12-20 06:01

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TEXTING while operating a vehicle is the most dangerous activity, but distracted driving means more than just texting. “Being distracted whilst driving is one of the major causes of road accidents and we need to be conscious of this,” says Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a constituent association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

“It’s any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the main task of driving.”

There are three types of distractions, namely visual, which is when the drivers take their eyes off the road; manual, a task that requires the drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel; and cognitive, when the driver’s mind is not focussed on the task at hand.

These activities could include eating and drinking, grooming, adjusting the radio or talking to passengers, to name just a few.

“However, texting is the riskiest activity because it is a visual, manual and cognitive diversion, which means no attention is being paid to the road,” he says.

“When you’re driving, you have to think about a lot of things: your speed, the traffic laws, the direction in which you are going, road conditions, pedestrians, other cars around you. It’s a long list, and if you’re not focussed on the task at hand, there is a greater chance that you’ll be involved in an accident.”

He says, however, passengers can help by reminding the drivers when their attention is not on the road and assisting them with anything they may need.

Tips to ensure safer driving:

• Don’t read, eat, change clothing or groom yourself while driving.

• Don’t allow passengers to distract you. Ensure small children are buckled up before departing and if they require attention during the trip, rather pull over to assist them.

• Don’t let animals roam around the vehicle freely. Rather put them in a pet carrier which is properly restrained.

• Create a playlist with your favourite music so you don’t have to look for songs.

• Let your friends and family know you will not answer any phone calls or texts while driving.

• Keep a safe following distance, allowing yourself time to react if required.

“Let’s all work together to make our roads a safer place this festive season,” he concludes.

(Issued: Motor Industry Workshop Association)

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