TEXT FOR ONE SEC­OND, BLIND FOR 27.7 ME­TRES

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

Over the next few weeks the Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice (pic­tured con­sta­ble Mitch Croghan) will be dis­man­tling the five to help you stay alive. In their sec­ond week they will be fo­cus­ing on inat­ten­tion: When you think about it, driv­ing a car safely takes a pretty spe­cial set of skills. Not only do you have to be able to co-or­di­nate all your ve­hi­cle con­trols like the ac­cel­er­a­tor, brake, clutch, steer­ing, in­di­ca­tors, wipers and so on, but you need to know how to con­tend with all the stuff that’s go­ing on with the traf­fic around you as well. Have a look around you on the com­mute though, and you’ll soon see that there are some who don’t give the task of safe driv­ing the at­ten­tion that it rightly de­serves – and that’s when things can go pear-shaped very quickly. Let’s just take the mo­bile phone for in­stance. Re­search shows that us­ing a mo­bile phone while driv­ing ren­ders a driver four times more likely to be in­volved in a se­ri­ous traf­fic crash. It’s not hard to see why be­cause it takes your focus off driv­ing and onto hold­ing a con­ver­sa­tion. What we need to be aware of is that when trav­el­ling at 100kph we are cov­er­ing just over 27.7 me­tres of road ev­ery sec­ond, so a two sec­ond glance at the phone equates to about 55.5 me­tres trav­el­ling blind. There can be a lot of ac­tiv­ity oc­cur­ring within 100 me­tres of your car so the dan­gers are glar­ingly ap­par­ent. There is sim­ply no text mes­sage that can­not wait un­til you have parked your car safely.

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