THE MESSAGE CLEARLY ISN’T GETTING THROUGH
Below are articles on the use of mobile computing whilst driving, to be honest they leave me quite speechless …. Not a very common occurrence!
I know some people will say that I am taking a typical ‘Elf & Safety view and overreacting. To those people all I can say is just look at the statistics, for the vast majority of us, driving is the most dangerous activity we undertake.
I would hope that most of you would not consider getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, so why get behind the wheel and use your phone on the move? Let’s be honest there are very few facebook entries or tweets that demand your instant response.
I am including a few links that may at least give you pause for thought at the bottom of these articles, please take the time to watch them, and consider the possible consequences before you reach for your phone and take your eye off the road.
Whilst I’m on the subject, these articles are about texting, please remember there is well proven evidence that taking a call; even hands free, can impair your driving more than drink driving.
So PLEASE think before you do ANYTHING other than drive when you are behind the wheel, it is a really hazardous activity for both you and other road users.
I know we all believe we can’t exist without the constant contact our phones provide, but the truth is we can. Far better to pick up a voice mail, or run through your messages when you are safely parked up, than be involved in even a minor collision on the road.
If the temptation is too much, switch your phone off before you get in the car, or at least put it on silent and put it on the back seat well out of sight!
The number of motorists who admitted taking phone calls and sending text messages has tripled in a year
Some 21 per cent of drivers admitted they are likely to check a social media alert while driving, according to research by the RAC.
The top five social media sites and applications which motorists admitted using while on the road (stationary with the engine running or driving) are email, Google Maps, music, photos and Facebook.
In the space of a year the number of motorists who admitted taking phone calls and sending text messages has tripled, according to the survey.
Almost four in ten (39 per cent) of drivers admit to being distracted by calls, texts and social media website alerts on their mobile phones while at the wheel.
Those saying they take calls while driving has risen from 8 per cent to 28 per cent, while those admitting texting at the wheel has increased from 11 per cent to 31 per cent, the poll of 1,150 British motorists found.
The survey also showed that on an average car journey of 23 minutes, a motorist’s phone rings or beeps at least once.
Just over half (53 per cent) of motorists admit they are likely to take their eyes of the road to see who a call is from and 45 per cent admit they would look to see who a text is from.
Drivers aged 17 to 24 are most likely to glance at a phone while driving if it rings or beeps, with 58 per cent saying they would do so.
Almost half (46 per cent) of all motorists who receive calls when they are driving claim not to be distracted by them, and 47 per cent believe texting on the road does not divert their attention from driving.
Over a quarter (26 per cent) of motorists believe it is acceptable to use phones (for calling, texting and social media) at traffic lights, 33 per cent believe using a phone in a lay-by is permissible and 9 per cent say using phones while stuck in traffic is reasonable.
Adrian Tink, RAC motoring strategist, said: “It’s extremely concerning that the use of mobile phones for texting and calling has risen in the past year. It is also worrying that people are admitting to using their phone for a whole host of social media applications while driving.
“Taking your eye off the road, just for a second, to read an alert or check who a call came from can have potentially fatal results. This steep rise in mobile phone usage at the wheel could potentially be set to continue as more and more people embrace smart phone technology.”
Thousands of drivers ‘using Twitter dangerously while driving’
Thousands of British motorists are putting themselves and other drivers in danger by constantly using the micro-blogging site, Twitter while driving, a survey has found.
Despite admitting they were breaking the law, almost one in 10 drivers were found to use mobile internet services and social networks whilst driving.
Almost half of drivers find alerts from mobiles or BlackBerrys “very distracting”.
Amid growing numbers were “tweet”, texting and updating their Facebook profiles while driving that was a “cause for concern”, the survey for online insurer, esure, found.
Almost half of drivers “openly admit” to breaking the law by texting and making calls while driving, the survey, of 1000 people, found.
Analysis of UK ‘tweets’ from Twitter over the period of just one week showed the extent that people were breaking the law.
One person even tweeted “I can’t believe how bad my spelling was in my last tweet. A testiment (sic) to not tweeting whilst driving!”
American research found that drivers were 23 times more likely to have an accident while texting or reading emails while driving.
The new trend has prompted Gwent Police producing a harrowing depicting a young girl whose distraction by her mobile phone leads to a horrific crash, which kills her two passenger friends and another couple, which has become one of the most watched clips on YouTube.
Mike Pickard, Head of Risk and Underwriting at Esure, said messages being posted on Twitter “from behind the wheel are a real cause for concern for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians”.
“With advances in technology and the rise in mobile phone applications available, motorists are being increasingly distracted whilst behind the wheel – especially as constantly updating friends and family on what we’re doing is now becoming the norm,” he said.
“Our advice to motorists is to remove this temptation altogether by switching off all mobile technology before driving to ensure focus solely remains on the road ahead.”
A selection of UK driving ‘Tweets’ from the past week:
1. “Am most nervous cos apparently can’t tweet while driving! Who knew?!”
2. “Hard to tweet when driving!”
3. “Tweeting whilst driving, watch out for PC plod.”
4. “I can’t believe how bad my spelling was in my last tweet. A testiment (sic) to not tweeting whilst driving!”
5. “Good luck today Hun! Know you a bit busy n tweetin whilst driving prob illegal but u couldn’t send me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY tweet ?x”
6. “I like sharing my driving with Twitter I like sharing pretty much most things with Twitter and my tweeps!”
7. “Haha twitter and driving… u can do 2 things at the same time.. nice ”
8. “Driving to work!!!”
9. “You tweeting and driving!! and needing a pee!! mm not good!! X”
10. “Driving home in the rain, what pleasure, what bliss.”
The first is an American short film that shows that texting at the wheel impairs your driving more than being over the USA alcohol limit
This second link is to the short film referred to in the second article, unfortunately I have not been able to find the full film online, but at least this excerpt includes the more dramatic parts, if you have teenage drivers in your family please ask them to watch it.