Distracted Driving is one of the fatal five triggers for all crashes. The problem with distracted driving is we don’t realise how far we are travelling blind. See, if someone in the back seat put their hands over your eyes, you would get your freak on, become disorientated and your stress levels would skyrocket at the thought of the impending crash.
Yet we do all of this voluntarily as we drive and use our phone, it is why it is called distracted driving. We cover 1.5 football fields per second at 100kph. It takes us 1.5 seconds in our reaction time alone and an additional 5 seconds + to read a text message and then respond. This is the very definition of distracted driving.
Distracted Driving and Mobile phones
So, why are we addicted to Mobile phones? they trigger dopamine, the same as hard drugs. It causes the same needs, anxieties and depression as hard drugs. Apps are designed to instil these addictions from an early age, FB, Snapchat etc.
So how do we manage mobile phone use and driving?
The challenge is they have many features that we use regularly, such as MAPS and Music.
There are also Apps that turn your phone into car mode, intercepting the calls and messages with a predetermined message of “Can’t talk now, I am driving” providing a call log for you to return when you have safely arrived.
Apps to give us control back
WAZE Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and fuel on their daily commute. This also includes updates on Police, Cameras and road hazards.
We are all time poor, stressed and in all honesty, distracted. The only way to counter this is to change the way we look at driving. It is our sanctuary, it is where we can actually be left alone.
Don’t worry about running late, there is nothing you can legally do about it. and we have all seen those drivers who cut from the left lanes to the right and then return, only to still be beside us as soon as the traffic slows.
Use your apps, Automate or waze, set your music and just enjoy the drive. It is actually your time and once you look at it like that, going for a drive becomes enjoyable, rewarding and a bit of adult time out.
It is funny how we get caught up in other people driver behaviour. ironically we can spend a lot of time criticising the people we share the road with, without ever wondering if people are criticising our driving.
When I was working with Frank Gardner at BMW Performance Driving Centre, we had a quote we lived by, from Sir Stirling Moss.
‘the quickest way to upset someone is to critizise their driving and or their loving, as they are the only two things we teach ourselves how to do. and naturally, we all believe we are bloody good at it. ”
So just relax, turn off and turn away. Really no one gets out alive anyway.
Our final distraction is pressure.
As I said above, “We are all time poor, stressed and in all honesty, distracted. The only way to counter this is to change the way we look at driving. It is our sanctuary, it is where we can actually be left alone.”
So let your driving start as you walk towards the car, pre plan your route out of the car park, make sure your car is right to drive. tyre condition and pressure, no obstacles, good tread condition etc.
Turn your phone to car mode, select your music, enter your destination and just accept the route time is the route time. infact the apps I have mentioned all have a feature where you can let your next destination see your trip. ETA, challenges and expected routes. We all know what the traffic is like.
Enjoy the fact you cannot take calls, it is just not worth it anyway and you know what is ironic, people, learn, accept and then don’t mind.