Distractions whilst Driving
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Road Safety Week this year falls on 18-24 November 2013 and the National Charity BRAKE are focusing on distractions whilst driving.
One of the major causes of all serious motor accidents in the UK is 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 it being illegal. 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.
BRAKE aims to get us all thinking about our safety whilst driving and what we can do to eliminate the distractions. This year BRAKE are asking us all to tune into road safety and promise to do our best to keep focused whilst driving so that we and our passengers stay safe.
Do you need to make a call or send 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.
BRAKE are not only sending their message to drivers but also to cyclists and pedestrians who 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 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.
BRAKE asks that we all get involved during during Road Safety Week and all you need to do is to log on to their website. It takes less than a few minutes and it may save someone's life.
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