A rising challenge on the roads that is posing just as large and possibly greater challenge, than drunken driving is distracted driving. And it’s more important to take this serious as the world approaches Christmas and New Year celebration.
While many drivers will not drink and drive, often the same cannot be said about driving with one’s phone in their hand. Whether it is a lack of understanding or appreciation of the danger, each driver needs to make an effort to reduce the prevalence of distracted driving.
According to the managing director of South African-based MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, the seriousness of distracted driving can be better understood by looking at statistics from recent studies. As much as 88% of drivers admit to checking for messages while driving even though this makes them 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Ultimately, 94% of crashes are preventable.
If compared to drunk driving, the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK says writing a text message slows reaction times by 35%. Whereas the reaction time of a driver whose blood alcohol concentration is at the legal limit is slowed by 12%. Thus distracted drivers are eight times more likely to have a crash. Whereas drunk drivers are only four times more likely. This does not minimize the danger of drunk driving but emphasizes how dangerous distracted driving really is.
Additionally, using one’s phone and driving requires the brain to multitask which has been proven to be impossible.
“The brain,” explained Herbert, “handles tasks sequentially but when you multitask by using your phone while driving it is impossible for your brain to adequately refocus on driving quickly enough and therefore safely respond to road hazards.”
The danger distracted driving presents along with the fact that it is near impossible to avoid for some drivers, is what is making technology that assists in avoiding this is so important.
Ping is an app that eliminates the urge to read text messages and emails while driving by automatically reading them out loud with no action from the driver.
The App’s Co-founder Barrie Arnold explains: “Drivers receive a surge of dopamine to the brain when they hear a message. Even if they don’t look at their phone, they are often cognitively distracted, wondering who the message is from and whether it’s urgent. We realized that the rising problem of technology distraction and addiction required a technology solution to reach the largest possible audience.”
The app is also effective because it removes the frustration and wasted time that comes with not being able to access your phone when driving or when a time sensitive message changes your plans.
You can keep up-to-date with your communication and use the auto-response function to acknowledge urgent incoming messages.
It is undeniable that cellphone use is becoming a major challenge among road users.
Every driver during this season should stay alive by avoiding texting on wheels. Or better still, if you can, acquire an app that could help to avoid the dangerous on wheel behavior. A good example is the PING, which will be launched before the end of the year.
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