The digital error has edged us towards spending more and more time on our phones. We have instant messaging, quick access to an ocean of online information, the ability to facetime with people in different countries and social media updates at our fingertips. It’s so easy to click a few buttons to check out a Facebook notification or reply to a message, so much so that South Africans are using their phones while in the bathroom, at work, during shopping trips, in bed and, more dangerously, while driving.
South Africa is among the countries with the highest road accident rates in the world. Recent statistics indicate that the top 3 causes of car accidents in South Africa are Speed, alcohol and distracted drivers.
While just 5% of South Africans admit they are guilty of surfing the web on their mobile devices while driving, according to the Effective Measure South Africa Mobile Report 2017, a recent study by Market and Opinion Firm Ipsos states that about 41% of South Africans are guilty of using their phones for social media or texting while driving.
Using a mobile while driving can result following issues:
- Inability to keep in lanes
- Slow reaction time
- Inability to stick to speed limit
- Less awareness to other drivers
For this reason, using a mobile while driving is illegal: You may not use a handheld communication device while driving as per the South African National Road Traffic Act, unless it is not being held in with any part of your body – hand, chin, knees, etc. However, it is legal to use a communication device if it has been specially adapted or designed to enable the driver to be able to use the device without having to hold it – such could be the add-on of headgear.
Using your phone while you’re driving takes your attention off the roads, putting lives at risk. Make sure you put your phone away while driving and stay alert on the road.