We all know texting while driving is dangerous, yet we still reach for our phones while behind the wheel.
As a road safety advocate, I have seen too many lives catastrophically changed in an instant as a result of distracted driving.
It is far too often I work with injured people who have lost all quality of a life they once loved, and with families who have lost a loved one and live with the life altering consequences of a split second decision to read a text.
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In fact Queensland Government statistics reveal that people using phones and other mobile devices whist driving are four times more likely to crash. Already in 2017, we have seen 142 people die on Queensland’s roads – 2 more than at the same time last year.
These statistics truly frighten me, and I don’t scare easily, I have 3 kids under 3.
The statistics also deeply sadden me, as these accidents are often preventable. The unnecessary trauma needs to stop. It’s time to get your hand off it, at least while you are driving.
There are technological advances that have the potential to save lives on our roads –the ‘do not disturb while driving’ or ‘auto reply’ function on smartphones are designed to block incoming calls, texts and notifications while you are driving, and are quick and easy to set up on your device.
The same technology that taunts and tempts us while driving also has the power to protect us.
Safety measures such as the do not disturb function on smart phones are an important step in reducing road trauma and fatalities, however prevention is always key to making sure we all arrive home safely at the end of every day.
I urge those in the Gold Coast region to get their hand off it too and use these smartphone functions before they get behind the wheel – it might save a life. It might even be yours.