Driving While Intexticated

Don’t lose sight of life - Don’t Drive Intexticated

Traffic authorities describe distracted driving as an epidemic sweeping our roads with South Africa having one of the highest road accident rates in the world. And, research shows around 25% of these accidents are caused by cellphone use while driving.

According to Discovery Insure, two-thirds of drivers still make cellphone calls while driving despite legislation prohibiting it.

What’s the risk?

When texting, drivers are distracted by taking their hand off the wheel to use their phone, by trying to read small text on the phone display and by thinking about how to write their message.

  • Text messaging drivers spent up to 400% more time with their eyes on the phone instead of on the road.
  • The reaction time of a texting driver deteriorates by 35%.
  • When texting, you tend to wander across the lane.
  • It takes an average of 2.5 seconds to check your cell phone while driving therefore when travelling at 100km per hour you will travel the length of a rugby field ‘blind’.
  • Texting reduces the ability to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front.

What’s the law?

According the National Road Traffic Act Regulation 308A, no driver is permitted to use a hand-held communication device while driving.

  • This includes a cellphone, microphone or other communication device.
  • You may also not use the cellular phone at traffic lights even when the vehicle is not moving – if the engine is running you are considered to be driving.
  • You may use such a device ONLY IF it is NOT being held in your hand or with any other part of your body.
  • Transgressing the Rules of the Road includes taking photos, browsing the internet and participation on social media platforms when driving.
  • Officials are no longer exempted.

What can I do?

The value of a cell phone lies in having it available in the car and not in your hand whilst driving. Avoid texting and driving by:

  • Using a hands-free device
  • Keeping your cell phone out of reach
  • Switching off your phone
  • Keeping both hands on the steering wheel
  • Using voice activated apps
  • Pulling of the road to take/make calls and read/send text messages

Call 0861 400 800 to report reckless driving.

Sources: Automobile Association of South Africa, Arrive Alive, Businesstech, Discovery Insure, Road Traffic Management Corporation

Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Don’t let a text take a life. Pledge not to text and drive. OFM Traffic, keeping you safe on the road.

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