Consider this. In the time it takes you to say, “And one, and two”, you will travel 22.22 metres at 40km/h. At 60km/h, you will travel 33.33 metres. And at 100km/h you will travel 55.56 metres. That’s a lot of ground you’re covering in a mere two seconds.
So, if your eyes are not on the road ahead, the consequences can be catastrophic. In, say, a school zone when small children are crossing roads, the two seconds you spend checking the SMS that just arrived could cost someone’s life.
Out on the highway, at 100 km/h, the result of that momentary distraction can be more devastating.
According to Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety, males aged between 17 and 39 are by far the worst offenders when it comes to using handheld mobile phones when driving.
They’re the ones who get caught. If we’re honest, we’ve all seen drivers of any age and gender being on the phone when they shouldn’t be.
Between 2012 and 2017 there were 184 crashes in which drivers were illegally using mobile phones. Of these crashes, seven were fatal and 105 resulted in injury.
Just let that sink in.
Seven people who are no longer with us. Seven people whose families were devastated. And all because drivers could not resist the urge to be on their phones. It’s a high price to pay for being in touch.
How do you explain to a daughter that their mum will not be coming home because someone who just had to send a text or make call collided with her and killed her?
Between July 2014 and June 2015, 35,000 fines were issued to motorists detected using their handheld phones while driving.
Yet still the message does not seem to get through. Every day, we see drivers with phones brazenly pressed to their ears. Every day, we see motorists in our rear-view mirrors, faces not on the road ahead but down, staring at a screen.
It is miraculous more lives aren’t lost because of this obsession with staying in touch while driving.
We applaud efforts by the NSW Government to detect drivers illegally using their phones while behind the wheel.
Any measures that can reduce needless deaths on our roads are welcome. And, of course, it’s not just about fatalities; the life altering injuries that result from momentary distraction are equally devastating.
It’s simple: keep your hand off it!