Distractions whilst driving
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One of the major causes of all serious motor accidents in the UK is due to driver distraction, whether using a mobile phone, eating, drinking, listening to music, changing stations/CDs or smoking. All these activities means that we are sidetracked and not fully aware of what is going on around us. I continue to see drivers using mobile phones despite being illegal.
Only recently I witnessed an adult riding a bicycle with a child in a trailer attached to the back of the bicycle. This is fine in itself but the rider had earphones and was listening to his Ipod whilst cycling and would not have been able to hear anything going on around him let alone any calls from the child.
Apart from the use of mobile phones, I think the worse distraction is the use of the Satnav. Before Satnav was available we would not dream of getting into the car and driving off without having some knowledge of the intended route. I regularly see drivers looking at the satnav and I confess I am one of them, with no idea of where they are or where they are going.
We should all think about our safety whilst driving and what we can do to eliminate the distractions. You need to think do you really need to make that call or sent a text, are you really that hungry that you can't wait until arrival at your destination? Look up the directions and the route before setting off so that you have some idea of where you are going rather than rely on the Satnav and have to keep looking at the screen. Most of all turn off the phone or leave it in the boot so you are not tempted to use it, even hands free causes dangerous distraction.
Not only drivers but but also to cyclists and pedestrians need get sidetracked. When cycling and listing to music how can you hear what is happening around you? I travel on a very busy road to work each morning and regularly see parents walking along on their way to school with small children. The parent is usually talking or texting on the phone and the children are running ahead with no supervision from the parent. It is becoming the norm to walk along with either earphones or a mobile phone to your ear or both.
It is a good that technology moves on and we have more information and devices but as my grandmother used to say there is a time and a place for everything and I think we all need to start thinking about that because the majority of the time our actions affect others and sometimes with very serious consequences.
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