Taking a quick peek at a text, turning around for a second to soothe a crying child, taking a hand off the wheel for just a second to grab something jammed under the seat… We all know we shouldn’t, but how often do we do these things while driving despite how dangerous it is? Keep these lifesaving tips from Imperial Auto in mind when driving to avoid distractions and accidents when you’re behind the wheel.

 

  1. Out of sight, out of mind. Put your phone in the boot or in your handbag under the backseat so you won’t be able to reach it. You can also connect your phone to a hands-free kit or the in-built Bluetooth connectivity function available in a number of newer car models, if you need to be reached.
  2. Bookmark your favourite locations. If you depend on your smart phone for GPS navigation, set regular destinations as favourites on the app or device for easy access. Remember to pull over before reaching for your smart phone or GPS device.
  3. Think ahead. Many accidents are caused by drivers eating, applying make-up and even brushing their teeth while behind the wheel! Take the time to do these things, as well as send texts or make any necessary calls, before you depart. Rather get to your destination a little late, but safely in the end.
  4. Prevent kids and pets from distracting you. Make sure children are strapped into an age and weight-appropriate car seat if necessary, or buckled up safely in the back seat. You should also be sure to lock your furry friends in a carrier – ask your vet for a mild pet sedative if you’re travelling a long distance with anxious animals.
  5. Ask for help. If you can, get someone to come along for the drive so you have someone else who can respond to texts for you, entertain the kids or who can help with GPS navigation so you won’t have to take your eyes off the road for a second.
  6. Take a moment. According to a 2016 study, driving while emotionally agitated in any way makes you ten times more likely to cause an accident. Avoid getting behind the wheel after an argument or any kind of upsetting event until you’ve had a chance to calm down.
  7. There’s an app for that. There are a number of apps available that encourage safe driving through a number of nifty features. Drivesafe.ly, for example, will dictate your messages and notifications aloud, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road.
  8. Opt for the latest tech. Many of the newer car models come with a variety of advanced safety features, such as an on-board infotainment that allows you to safely use certain features of your smart phone. Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver if the vehicle seems to be veering or performing unusually, and may come standard or as an optional extra.

 

Avoid falling into these distraction traps while driving and help make South Africa’s roads safer for all motorists. For more useful tips, visit www.imperialauto.co.za or chat to one of our friendly and helpful consultants on 011 875 5852.

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