SWITCH THE MOBILE OFF WHEN YOU SWITCH THE CAR ON

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Complete attention to the road ahead, behind and on both flanks of your vehicle is the key to good driving. Only the happenings in your surroundings should be of prime concern to you when you are behind the steering wheel and absolutely nothing else. But how many of us follow this dictum?

  The point is there could be many things to divert your attention as you drive, ranging from that new hoarding promising a sale at a mall in town to the baby bawling in the back seat. But most of the time you do ignore them in order to keep your focus on the road. Then why are most of us in such hurry to take that call even as we are cruising at 100kmph no sooner than the phone begins to ring?

A ringing phone becomes our worst attention diverter whereas we need to set out on a journey by switching it off or – at a minimum – putting it on the silent mode. The worst case scenario is trying to SMS or Whatsapp messages while driving, which means you are taking your eyes off the road – often a busy stretch of the highway.

No phone call, howsoever important, is worth a gamble if one of the consequences of that misstep is a bad accident. Must we risk our lives – and of our friends and dear ones if they are accompanying us – for a phone call? Just sit back, reflect and give it a thought.

No business deal is going to fall through because you are 10 minutes late in responding. And if you do anticipate such a call, isn’t it better to initiate a call by finding a suitable lay-by, parking the vehicle and having a conversation where you can then give your undivided attention to your business deal or a loved one’s demands?

The best thing is to contact a party whose call you are expecting and sort the matters out before you set out on a journey or tell him/ her that you are
about to drive away and would be unavailable for
so much time.

If you have a co-passenger then if you deem fit you could also tell him/ her to keep an eye on the phone and respond on your behalf. The theory that hands-free phones are harmless and calls can be taken on them is fallacious. That’s because when
you are on line with someone, are exchanging
notes, information or banter, you attention is not on the road 100%.

Indeed, depending on the nature of the conversation your attention span as far as the road ahead and surrounding traffic are concerned may go down to barely 1%. Your eyes may be on the road but not your mind. And it’s the mind that drives the vehicle; eyes just keep watch and send the message
to the mind. If the mind is preoccupied with extraneous things then in such a situation an accident is a high probability.

So switch your mobile off while driving and avoid an accident.