According to industry experts, about 1.2 million people die in traffic accidents every year. Ninety percent of these traffic fatalities are caused by human error and a third of this figure is caused by driver distractions.
Every road user has a part to play in road safety, but among all the users, drivers are the least vulnerable, but have the potential to cause the most harm in an accident. Remember, in a car, you’re surrounded by over a tonne of steel. Here are the five most common distractions that every driver could do without:
These handy devices help us stay connected, but we should not use them while driving. If you must take phone calls, use a Bluetooth headset or sync your phone with your car’s infotainment system if possible. Although mounting your handphone on one of those brackets (attached to the windscreen with a suction cup) lets you use your device legally, it is nevertheless still a distraction.
Parents, please secure your children in appropriate child seats. Letting your kids “roam” unsecured in the backseat is dangerous. A rowdy toddler who enjoys covering your eyes and playing “Guess Who?” as you’re driving could end up causing a serious and potentially fatal accident.
You may have the right to smoke in your car, but doing so increases the risk of an accident. When you smoke, you do not have both hands on the steering wheel. And, if you should happen to drop a lit cigarette in your lap, will you be able to steer the car safely to the side of the road – even if your pants are on fire?
Having your meal in the car is a no-no as well. Again, you won’t be able to have both hands on the wheel, and if (heaven forbid) you start choking on your food, will you be able to control the vehicle then?
Keep your eyes on the road, not on your face. All the make-up in the world can’t make you look better if you’ve been battered in a collision. You can always apply make-up once you reach the office. Besides, you’ll probably do a better job at your desk or in the ladies’ room.