A rising challenge on the roads that is posing just as large, and possibly greater challenge, than drunken driving is distracted driving. 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.
The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says 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 minimise the danger of drunk driving but emphasises 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 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. “MasterDrive is working alongside the developers of ping. It 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.
ping Co-founder Barrie Arnold adds, “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 realised that the rising problem of technology distraction and addiction required a technology solution to reach the largest possible audience.”
ping 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.”
MasterDrive in association with ping will be launching the app in South Africa this December as drivers enter one of the most dangerous periods on the roads. From 14 December 2020, drivers can download the app from Google Play Store for a complimentary two-week trial period. Test the app for a two-week period so that you can experience its safety benefits and put your family’s well-being first.
It is undeniable that cellphone use is becoming a major challenge among road users. “Lead the way in changing the situation by making use of the ping app to still meet the demands to your attention but in a safe way that will not place you or your family at risk,” says Herbert.