More and more people own smart phones, and some find it hard to switch off, even for a minute. But you should never use your phone at the wheel. Making or taking calls, texting, using the internet or checking social media while driving is incredibly risky. All these things are a bit like drink-driving: they slow your reaction times and hinder your control, and could easily cost you or someone else their life. Research shows if you are on the phone when driving your reactions are 50% slower and your crash risk is four times higher than normal.
This applies to hands-free kits too. Despite it currently being legal in New Zealand to make or take calls using a hands-free kit while driving, research proves it's not a safe option. Hands-free kits are almost as risky as holding the phone to your ear, because it's the distraction of the conversation that's the main danger. The only way to avoid dangerous distraction from your phone is to switch it off, or to silent, and put it out of sight and reach when you're driving.
On long journeys, stop for breaks every two hours, and check your messages then.
You can also help other drivers to stay safe by refusing to speak to someone on the phone while they're driving. If someone picks up while they're driving, end the call as quickly as you can. It could save their life. Sourced from www.brake.org.nz