Avoiding distracted driving this festive season

Avoiding distracted driving this festive season

Eugene Herbert, managing director of MasterDrive, says that 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 - 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.Barrie Arnold, co-founder of ping, says: "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.""The app has been designed to remove 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."Drivers can download the app from Google Play Store for a complimentary two-week trial period.