Latest technological advancements are making our lives much easier and enjoyable. We got used to it that we wonder how people’s lives before the internet were. However, with every great invention there generally are risks and dangerous uses as well. You can be glued to your phone while you are sitting at home with hardly any risks. But you may be taking a huge risk if you only take your eyes off the road for few seconds.
Social media is an obsession for some people who like to document their lives minute by minute on their profiles. Sometimes it is hard to understand what is so important that cannot wait until they finish with driving. It is no exaggeration to say that they are making a choice between dying or getting seriously injured and updating their social media profile when they divide their attention between driving and updating their profiles.
Recent Survey Reports Highlight New Trends
These days we seem to love ourselves. People cannot stop snapping their own picture; Selfie. A survey carried out in Europe by Ford found that British Drivers are Selfie Kings. 33% of Brits, 28% of Germans and French and 26% of Italians have confirmed that they have taken a Selfie while Driving (SWD). Some of those were so proud that they uploaded the pictures to their social media accounts.
Another survey carried out in Europe among 7,000 smart phone users between the age of 18 and 24. This survey confirmed that 25% of them updated their social media profiles or checked their account while driving. According to experts it takes about 20 seconds to update your profile or check your social media account. A car traveling at 60 mph covers the length of 5 football pitches in that time.
If such car was to crash the consequences are likely to be deaths or serious injuries. Everyone can see the risks people are taking when they pay more attention to their phones than their driving. It takes only few seconds of lack of concentration to end up in an accident. The gap between your car and the car in front is about 2 seconds. So, 20 seconds is 10 times more than the time it takes to crash to the vehicle in front.
Penalties, Driver Awareness and Being Smart
Using any hand held device while driving is a traffic offence in almost everywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter that it was a cell phone or a tablet and you were taking a selfie or calling someone. Penalties are varying from fines to driving license point deductions. There is a high chance you may be taken to court for dangerous driving as well. As a result you may even lose your license especially for repeat offences.
Many people may think that nobody will see what they are doing. A few drivers will try to conceal their act by keeping the phone between their legs. It may be the case that you can get away with it. However, it is your, your passengers and many other road users’ life you are taking chances with. Do you want to enjoy a long life and take thousands more selfies or that one selfie is worth the risk?
No penalty is more effective than people self-controlling their actions. Surveys suggest that young drivers are much more likely to engage in such activities. That is one of the reasons why teenage car insurance rates are several times more expensive. You can have smart phones and you can be smart about using them, too.
Technology offers preventative solutions to problems it causes. If you think you or your teenage son/daughter is weak and cannot control the urges of being up to date on social media you can use apps to turn off the phone the moment a vehicle movement is detected. There are so many of those apps and some of them can warn parents when their children use their phones while driving. Think and take action before it is too late.