Smartphones – The Not So Smart Option When Driving

It’s 2018 and most of us are permanently attached to our mobile phones.

From online shopping to social media or music, we practically do everything on our phones. The only problem is, for many, that doesn’t stop when driving.

It may only take a second to snap a picture for an epic snapchat story, but that’s also all it takes for an accident to happen.

Heavy Fines

The Police now issue heavy fines to those who are caught on their phones whilst driving and number of fines issue is increasing year on year.

The scary part is that these fines are not deterring people from using their phones, people are just getting sneakier with their phone usage.

The Road Safety Commission states that the penalties for using your phone whilst driving varies from state to state but in WA the penalty for being caught on your phone whilst driving is a $400 fine and 3 demerit points.

With demerit points being issued, it could be mean that you end up having your licence revoked depending on the type of licence you hold or how many points you already have.

The One at Fault

If you have an accident whilst using your phone, chances are it will be you that is at fault.

Not only can this have a huge impact on your life, but also any other parties involved in the accident.

It can also have a dramatic affect on your insurance renewal premiums which increase your insurance prices for the foreseeable future.

Handsfree

Even though using your phone whilst its on hands free means that your hands are free to use the steering wheel, your concentration is still taken away from the road.

Having a conversation on your phone can be just as distracting as sending a text message or posting a picture to Instagram.

According to research carried out by car accident lawyers at Australian Accident Helpline, an astounding 36% of Aussies admitted to using their phones whilst driving.

The Smart Way to Drive:

There are certain steps we can take to ensure that our journeys are safe not only for ourselves but for other people on the roads.

Airplane mode:

If you’re easily distracted from the ping of a Facebook or Instagram notification, the easiest and safest option it to put your phone on airplane mode whilst behind the wheel.

It’s not only yourself that you’re endangering if you use your phone whilst driving, there are other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists that you are also putting at risk.

It only takes one second for something to happen, and if you’re distracted it could be too late.

Set Your GPS before you start your journey:

If you need to use your GPS or maps application on your phone, set this up before you start your journey. That way you won’t be tempted to set your destination when you get to the part of your journey where you are unsure.

If you’re unable to do this, make sure you pull over somewhere safe to set your destination before continuing your journey.

Listen to the radio:

If you’re a serial skipper when it comes to listening to a playlist, the safest option for yourself and others is to listen to the radio rather than music from your phone.

This way you won’t be tempted to skip though your music or search a song you haven’t heard in a while.

In Conclusion

The dangers associated with phone usage while driving far outweigh the benefit of sending a text sooner.

The question we need to be asking is whether or not the penalties for being caught on your phone whilst driving? Fining people doesn’t seem to be working, so maybe a licence suspension will?

We need to remember that it’s not just us on the roads, we share them, so we are all partly responsible for each other’s safety.

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Contributed by The Correspondent

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