Drive – don’t talk or text

The AA has warned drivers that talking on a cellphone, or texting, puts lives at risk.

It said that distracted driving remains a problem in South Africa, and will continue to remain one unless drastic action is taken.

“While stricter law enforcement is needed, it’s the attitude of motorists which needs the biggest change,” said the AA.

Studies have shown that when drivers are distracted, their ability to operate a vehicle is impaired.

“Motorists who use mobile devices while behind the wheel need to change their attitudes and take responsibility for their actions.”

“By talking on a cellphone, or texting while driving, these irresponsible drivers can cause a crash that injures or kills other people.”

No one is immune to the dangers of being distracted, it said.

“Although there are no current local statistics on how distracted driving causes crashes, there is sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest this number is large enough to warrant urgent attention.”

The following distractions are among the most prevalent:

  • Talking on cellphones, or texting while driving.
  • Eating while driving.
  • Putting on ties or clothing while driving.
  • Applying makeup while driving.
  • Looking to the back seat to engage passengers.
  • Setting GPS devices while moving.
  • Searching for items in the car while driving.

“Put your cellphone in the boot of your car before driving off, and put on your tie or makeup before you get going,” said the AA.

“If you use a GPS device, set the destination before embarking on your journey.”

“Remember: if you don’t focus on the road, there is a 100% likelihood you will not avoid a crash while distracted.”

Now read: Using a smartphone while driving is dangerous – even when you’re hands-free

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Drive – don’t talk or text