Dis­tracted driv­ing is the true menac e

Weekend Witness - - Ar Ts -

DIS­TRACTED dri ving: T he true menac e on South Africa’s r oads.

We might f eel po wer­less w hen f aced with some of the dan­gers of South Africa’s roads, but there is some­thing we can all do to pro­tect our­selves: we can mak e sur e we’re not dis tracted while driv­ing. A re­cent study by mar­ket and opin­ion firm Ip­sos O TX1, in­di­cat es that 40% of South Africa’s dri vers t ext while dri ving.

Les McMaster, chair­per­son of the Mo­tor In­dus­try Work­shop As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “There are three types of dis­trac­tions: visual, which is when driv­ers take their eyes off the road; man­ual, a task that re­quires driv­ers to take their hands off the steer­ing wheel; and cog­ni­tive, when the driver’s mind is not f ocused on the t ask at hand.

“Tex­ting is the riskie st ac­tiv­ity be­cause it is a visual, man­ual and cog­ni­tive di­ver­sion,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Roads and Mo­torists As­so­ci­a­tion, driv­ers who reg­u­larly send text mes­sages spend up t o 400% mor e time with their eyes on the phone ins tead of on the r oad. “If you’re not fo­cused on the task at hand, there is a greater chance that you’ll be in­volved in an ac­ci­dent.” McMaster had tips f or safer driv­ing: • Don’t al­low pas­sen­gers to dis­tract you. En­sure small chil­dren are buck­led up bef ore de­part­ing and if they re­quire at­ten­tion dur­ing the trip, rather pull o ver t o as sist them; • Don’t let an­i­mals roam around the ve­hi­cle freely, r ather put them in a pet car­rier; • Cre­ate a play list with your favourite mu­sic so you don’ t ha ve t o look f or song s; and • Keep a saf e f ol­low­ing dis tance. — Sup­plied.

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