Using your cellphone while driving in South Africa is against the law. Using a cell phone while driving is one of the biggest causes of car accidents in South Africa alone.
But what makes it so dangerous when we use our phones while driving? What makes texting and driving the number one cause for car accidents and what are the consequences when we do?
What happens when we text and drive?
Using your cellphone while driving is one of the main distractions. It is the leading cause of single-vehicle accidents in South Africa. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are twice as likely to cause a single-vehicle accident than adults between the ages of 25 and 49 years old.
Reading and responding to a text while driving can distract the average person by 9 seconds. In reality, that is quite a long time to be distracted from the road. In South Africa we have one of the world’s highest road accident rates according to the International Transport Forum’s (ITF) Road Annual Report, 25% of those accidents are the result of texting and driving.
In 2017 the ITF revealed that there were just over 25 deaths per 100 000 people which resulted from motor vehicle accidents in 2016. This costs the South African GDP R143 billion or 3.5% annually.
The other distractions that influence motor vehicle accidents are grooming, drinking and eating.
What facts are there when it comes to texting and driving?
How can we prevent texting and driving?
The simplest thing we can do is to turn off or mute our phones while driving. This will decrease our chances of an accident by 50%. This also, in turn, will help us resist our urge to text or talk while driving.
Instead of becoming a statistic, it would be essential to abide by the law and not use your phone while driving and also encouraging others to do so as well. It really isn’t worth the risk.
Be a role model and set the example to other road users and friends by not giving in to the pressure of using your phone while driving. If it’s not a life or death situation, then it’s not worth it. You can wait until you have reached your destination safely to respond to messages or call the person back. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you are driving responsibly and safely.
Perhaps get additional peace of mind with car insurance coverage? You may want to consider getting affordable car insurance is on offer with PMD.
This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.