Silent: avoiding driver distraction

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, a call from your mother? The list of reasons why you might be on your phone is endless, but is it really worth it? One final email, a last minute text or just careless browsing could result in catastrophic consequences.

Drivers who perform a complex secondary task, like using their mobile phone, while behind the wheel are three times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers. This is very quickly becoming one of the biggest causes of road fatalities.

Octo Telematics, the number one global provider of telematics for the auto insurance industry, supports Road Safety Week and the pledges Brake has proposed on silent driving:

Drivers – I’ll never take or make calls when driving. I’ll put my phone out of sight and on silent and stay focused on the road.

Everyone – I’ll never chat on the phone to someone who’s driving.

Here are three good reasons to drive silently, for yourself and for all those around you:

  • Turn your phone off – When starting your journey, it is vital to make sure your phone is switched off or turned on ‘do not disturb’ mode, and put out of sight and reach. This way you totally avoid dangerous distraction while driving and all your attention is on the road ahead. If you know that a family or a friend is driving, avoid speaking to them while they are on the road. If they pick up while driving, end the call as soon as possible, as this could save their life
  • Turn down your music – Volume is a key factor in distraction. When driving, we all enjoy listening to our favourite tunes in the car, but we must remember that loud music slows down your reaction time and can reduce concentration levels. As the volume increase your brain becomes devoted more to the attention of the lyrics, rhythm and sounds coming from the speakers. If you are going for a long drive or you know there is some busy traffic ahead, keep safe and turn the volume down
  • Avoid hefty fines – Not only is there such an increased chance of crashing, but using your mobile phone while driving is illegal. With new measures coming into play from early next year, drivers will receive six points on their license and face a £200 fine – which, if you are a newly qualified driver, will result in your license being revoked. Experienced drivers could face going to court if they offend twice, and possibly face fines of up to £1,000. Even using a hands-free set slows down reaction times of oncoming hazards, and increases the risk of an accident, so avoid using your phone or a hands-free device at all costs

Octo’s free smartphone app Octo U (iPhone and Android) collects, analyses and stores telematics data on your driving behaviour, giving you tips on how to improve and a score to motivate you. It detects, reconstructs and analyses all significant events that occur during a trip, such as harsh braking, rapid acceleration, speeding and how curves are negotiated. You can compare your score with friends and compete to be the best driver, as well as submit it to a panel of insurers to see if you could qualify for a discount.

Tags: mobile phone road safety week social media distraction